‘Cuz I Love You (Super Deluxe) – Lizzo

Lizzo’s second album is incredible. That was never up for debate. It’s some of the best modern pop you’ll ever hear, immediately calling listeners to attention with the beautiful grooves and vocal harmonies of “Like a Girl”, but, from “Crybaby” on, the album takes a sharp left turn and goes full Prince (but better). I might draw some flack for this, but the obvious standout on this album is “Better in Color”, for Lizzo’s epic screams, that perfect modern guitar production, and the off-the-wall blues harmony. There’s wonderfully bright harmony all over this album, from the heartwarming synths under “Lingerie” to Gucci Mane’s joyful sung rap in “Exactly How I Feel”. (I can’t get over the perfect vocal groove on that song’s rock pre-chorus.) Of course, we can’t talk about harmony without discussing “Juice”, an incredible banger that focuses hard on the Phrygian second and actually makes it sound happy; Lizzo’s got an understanding of the theory behind music that few modern artists can boast, allowing her to break the rules just for the fun of it. By the way, the intricate drums on this album have rewritten the book on pop percussion, from the wild bridge to “Juice” to the driving cowbells of “Boys” to the bouncy patterns behind “Good as Hell”. “Soulmate” features another intense driving riff on the synth, and the vocal harmonies in the chorus are sublime. “Water Me” is also awesome, with a bumping uptempo groove that makes it an actual challenge not to move along to it, but the major, joyful bridge makes me too happy for words. This is music that is meant to make you happy, and it does the trick; the message and the music work in tandem, inserting Lizzo and her worldview into an important spot within our culture. Suffice it to say that you have to hear this album; it constantly changes, so if you SOMEHOW don’t like one of the first songs you hear, just wait.

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