Friday, February 21st, 2020

Meghan Trainor feat. Nicki Minaj – Nice to Meet Ya

Meghan, you need no introduction…


Alfred Soto: The pairing is quaint — how 2014! Meghan Trainor attempts a makeover that vaporizes the essentials of a noxious image. Now she sounds like nobody at all. Nothing. 

Katie Gill: I can’t decide who she’s trying to be in this song but she’s certainly trying to be someone ELSE. The pivot to a more heavy R&B sound, the whispered hook, the Nicki guest verse, this has “I am trying to reinvent myself, can we all finally forget about ‘Me Too’ now” written all over it. Pity that the reinvention comes with a distracting amount of vocal modulation and at the expense of anything actually Meghan Trainor about it.

William John: A mishmash of instagrammable aphorisms, with a tired trope like a whispered chorus, is an improvement on undermining your self-empowerment aesthetic with a genetics polemic – but only just.

Thomas Inskeep: Trainor’s flailing, desperately trying to get her career back on track, but she’s not up to the faux-dark trap-pop she’s attempting here. Minaj, meanwhile, will clearly do anything for a check, except exert effort. Both of them should be embarrassed by this.

Tobi Tella: I’m not saying Meghan Trainor was good when she was doing doo-wop pastiche, but at least it was a gimmick to hide the soullessness. The highlight of the song is Nicki’s listless verse referencing monsters, reminding us of simpler times and much better songs.

Kylo Nocom: Meghan Trainor is pop’s biggest joke. Her demographic gets dragged daily: stans always have aversion towards anybody that dares to fill a niche for “soccer moms” or “the GP” (one of pop fandom’s biggest mysteries; what makes you so different from “normal people that listen to music”?). The homogeneity of publications’ takes on pop is less a side effect of poptimism than it is of stan culture; nobody wants to ignite the wrath of Twitter fanbases, so it’s best to come after Ed Sheeran and P!nk as easy targets. Meghan’s career of empowerment anthems is not amazing, but has never been enough to warrant the bandwagon of shit-talk she receives across the board. Any attempt at trying to justify her value as a musician feels as if it immediately starts off with contrarian intent rather than out of sincere enjoyment. Yet out of her hits, I’d be hard-pressed to say she’s ever even had a truly horrible song. I’ve suffered through some of the worst of radio overplay and still can’t remember ever changing the station whenever one of her songs comes on. My tolerance for her sincerity, no matter how poor the messaging ends up being, is high enough to find Meghan dumb fun. Her latest single expectedly doesn’t fascinate lyrically, even if “I am blessed by the heavens” is remarkably badass in the two ways it’s delivered, but nobody wants to talk about how fucking weird this is. The DNA of “Nice to Meet Ya” is loaded with referents: “Tongue” (the whispered chorus), “Loyal to Me” (millennial R&B revivalism as filtered through perceived “Spotify-core”), “Wasabi” (the ridiculous grinding bass), “Beez n the Trap” (though more “Soap,” I’m not telling anybody to respect Melanie Martinez, plus Nicki’s entrance completely re-contextualizes the drop), any Zedd song that used the dumbass vocoder. It’d be easy to shit on this as desperate if it actually sounded like any hit on the radio right now; as is, it’s a complete Frankenstein of various tropes catered directly to my tastes. Meghan Trainor provides a lesson for us all: being perceived as pop’s biggest tryhard might just means she’s trying more than 99% of people out there. Looks like her hard work has paid off.

Katherine St Asaph: Can you have a consistent identity — “brand,” we’d say now — if The Discourse has decided your identity is actually something else? Meghan Trainor has been made into a punchline, all her music just elaboration on the joke. (To be fair, that weird horny press release for the EP didn’t help.) But that music, the actual sounds on recording, is a consistent string of millennial R&B singles as faithful and nervy as Rina Sawayama or Kehlani or LIZ or Raye, all of whom this would be praised for releasing this exact song minus the Meghan tag. The “blessed by the heavens” hook and faux-brass backing would be celebrated if this were a single by Ariana Grande or Fifth Harmony, for whom it may well have been written. (Camila would do the whispered vocals, right?) Critics may even like it, if only for the near-quote in the synth hook of Cassie’s “Me and U.”

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Given the delightfully entertaining chaos of Meghan Trainor’s career as of late — from that crazy UTI-inducing press release, to the catchy (eu)genetics song, to her somehow being involved in the comeback reunion of the Pussycat Dolls — I really wanted to like this. But my actual reaction aligns more closely with what Nicki says halfway though her verse: “Ha, ha, ha-ha, ha, ha-ha-ha.”

Brad Shoup: Trainor’s uncanny chorus makes this one feel like it’s 70% percent Minaj. It’s actually better than Minaj’s cashed-in favor of a verse, which opts for the safe syllabic choice every time. Still, mark another square on the bingo card: Trainor’s made throwback snap-pop.

Joshua Lu: Treat Myself being a decent album isn’t particularly surprising, given how most of Meghan Trainor’s 2019 releases showcased her affinity for making easily digestible but pristine pop music. “Nice to Meet Ya” isn’t the best offering, but it is emblematic of its parent album’s general formula: histrionically sassy lyricism, production that doesn’t skimp on vocoder or random bloopy noises, and a general feeling of datedness, best brought in with Nicki Minaj’s most genuinely carefree verse since the Roman Reloaded era. Maybe it’s a sign of my aging taste, or just sympathy for a struggling pop star whose career I’ve enjoyed observing for the past six plus years, but I find myself entirely willing to appreciate what this fun little pop song has to offer.

Jackie Powell: Meghan Trainor has been through the wringer in the lead up to the release of her third album TREAT MYSELF. According to an interview with the Zack Sang Show, Trainer was stalled during a time where there was a lot of “traffic” in the market. But also, she was told that she could simply produce a better product and Epic records could afford to give her that time. Almost two years ago, TSJ reviewed “No Excuses,” which had a memorable chorus but fell flat, more like a Fifth Harmony B-side than a Trainor track. “Nice to Meet Ya” is sonically more dynamic than “No Excuses” but at times sounds like a structural carbon copy of Ariana Grande’s mega-hit “Problem.” Whispered hook: check. Bridge formed by a female rapper: check. (Nicki Minaj’s verse works, but its main function has been for hip-hop choreographers, which is fine I guess.) Although I wonder what would have ensued if Trainor’s husband and former Spy Kid Daryl Sabara took over the whispering duties from his wife on the post-chorus, akin to Big Sean on the Grande cut. But apparently, he is credited for backing vocals? Trainor has been notorious for “repetitive pop,” and lately has leaned into her song titles too much. While “Genetics” was upgraded with a Pussycat Dolls feature, I can’t help but cringe when the word is spelled out. And don’t get me started on “Evil Twin.” Trainor has difficulty with her lede. Her lede is either forced or buried, which is something that transpires on this latest single. What would happen if she didn’t begin her songs with the title? What would “Nice to Meet Ya” have sounded like without its hook, which consists of the whispering? This single could have easily been named “What I Want to Be” which might be less cutesy than “Nice to Meet Ya,” but it’s a bit more appropriate for where Trainor is in her life. Something that’s unfortunate about Trainor is how she consistently forces the issues she’s bringing to the surface. Don’t get me wrong, her message is vital for her audience, but maybe she can use a metaphorical editor or another producer or songwriter who can relate to and understand her message, altering it so that it isn’t oversold.

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4 Responses to “Meghan Trainor feat. Nicki Minaj – Nice to Meet Ya”

  1. This deserved at least a 5. So sad that Meghan will probably never get that high on here.

  2. not true; if genetics is ever released as a single watch it become the first song ever on the jukebox that gets a perfect [10]

  3. false, dear future husband achieved that already

  4. This song is good! (And some of the blurbs are great, especially Kylo and Katherine’s). I didn’t have time to blurb but probably would have given a 7.

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