This past Friday, Lizzo released her third studio album, titled “Cuz I Love You” (2019), through Nice Life and Atlantic Records. Blending pop, hip-hop and funk together, Lizzo brings a fresh energy that music fans desperately needed. Lyrically, she brings wit and radiant energy on a level that many of her counterparts fail to provide. “Cuz I Love You” is a project that pop, R&B and hip-hop fans will not want to let slip by.
The album starts with title track “Cuz I Love You,” an X-Ambassadors assisted ballad that showcases Lizzo’s passionate voice. Delivering an energetic flow with audacious lyrics makes for an excellent buildup to the hook, where Lizzo cries out “I’m cryin’, cuz I love you.” The production from X-Ambassadors gives the track more substance, adding a horn section and electric guitar to immediately follow her hook.
One of the most empowering songs on the project is “Like A Girl.” Epic bass-heavy synths over a trap beat perfectly match Lizzo’s bold and to-the-point lyrics. Not a single ounce of passion is wasted in her songwriting, name-dropping successful women such as Serena Williams and Chaka Khan.
Immediately following is “Juice,” one of the record’s lead singles. An evidently funk-influenced collection of guitars, bass, and drums serves as the most prominent element of this track. Nevertheless, Lizzo’s presence anchors the song, as it does for the good majority of this project.
The album’s instrumentally low moments coincide with the album’s most lyrically powerful moments. On “Soulmate,” Lizzo sings about her unstoppable self-confidence and shows how easy it is to love yourself, despite what other people think or do. “Jerome” tells the tale of a previous love interest that she regrets and lets other boys know her standards. In contrast, “Cry Baby” shows some of her insecurities about being in love.
“Tempo” is easily one of the most hype songs of 2019 thus far. Assisted by rap legend Missy Elliott, this hip-hop cut has some of Lizzo’s best bars, featuring an entire verse of cake metaphors. Missy Elliott complements the eerie yet hypnotizing beat very well, delivering a flex-filled verse that matches Lizzo’s spark. Another guest feature contribution from Gucci Mane enhances the extremely funky “Exactly How I Feel.”
In an interview with Apple Music, Lizzo describes “Better In Color” better than any reviewer could. “This is the nerdiest song I have ever written, for real. But I love it so much. I wanted to talk about love, attraction and sex without talking about the boxes we put those things in — who we feel like we’re allowed to be in love with, you know? ” The final two cuts on this project, “Heaven Help Me” and “Lingerie” are more ballad-like, R&B-influenced closing songs.
All in all, “Cuz I Love You” does more than enough in 33 minutes to prove to listeners that Lizzo’s name is one to remember. Lizzo shows beyond a doubt that she is a multifaceted performer: singing, rapping and crooning equally well. While the project lacks quality on occasion, Lizzo’s outstanding presence on every song shows a promising future. Each song from “Cuz I Love You” has its own identity and offers a taste of different genres each time.
“Cuz I Love You” delivers an important message that we still struggle with in today’s society: Love yourself. People are different in their own, beautiful ways, and gender, race, body type or sexuality should not get in the way of anyone wanting to express themselves. As shown by the striking album cover art, Lizzo has no problem showing the world that she’s proud of being herself. Through this album, Lizzo wants to show everyone that self-love and getting rid of negativity that stems from self-hate are the easiest steps to start loving life.