I Finally Listened to Lizzo’s New Album

You truly never know what to expect when you click play on a new Lizzo song, but what I did not expect on the first track of her new album was Lizzo yelling, “Hi, motherfucker, did you miss me?” in my ears.

I’ve been home since 2020

I’ve been twerkin’ and makin’ smoothies

It’s called healing

The last album Lizzo released was in 2019 before the entire world went into remission. 

Throughout quarantine, the music industry was upheaved by what I like to call a youthquake. For so long many industries that young people wanted to break into had large barriers of entrance, from needing a publisher to write books to needing a record label to release music that gets more than three streams. During quarantine, this idea was turned flat on its head with the popularity of Tik Tok. Young musicians found if they advertised correctly, if one of their videos went viral, if their song was picked up for a new trend, their music career was set.

Since this was happening so prolifically, music labels had to change their approach if they were going to continue advertising and housing Gen-Z, their biggest and most obsessive audience. There was a new insanely talented young musician going viral and climbing the charts every single week, so artists had to fight for their spot. While some professionals may think established artists and labels posting on Tik Tok to advertise new songs and albums might seem childish, it’s the wave of the future and if an artist wants to stay ahead, they better grab a surfboard.

There’s nobody who can surf the waves better than Lizzo. Even though it’s been three years since releasing her last (grammy-winning) album, which was before the youthquake changed how consumers want to see artists, she took that time to establish her ability to hang 10. It’s obvious Lizzo has seen the advantages of posting photo dumps on Instagram and participating in trends on Tik Tok… or maybe she just loves doing it. This is how she has stayed relevant and kept people asking for more music. Not just by releasing stiff and edited horizontal videos from music videos or voice memos of possible new songs, but truly by being herself.

She hops on all the trends in her own way. From instructing people on the real way to dance to About Damn Time after the sound became trending, to giving live updates on her thoughts about the trending show The Summer I Turned Pretty. What’s different about Lizzo is she doesn’t just complete the trends and move on, she always commits to the bit. She comments on videos of people dancing to her song, hyping them up. She recently posted videos on vacation wearing a “Team Jeremiah” shirt (which is… same). While this might just be Lizzo being Lizzo, it’s undoubtedly the smartest marketing strategy someone in her category can be doing.

Even though all 12 songs on Lizzo’s album are different, they all carry the same idea. All of the lyrics on the album sound like the manifestations a Tik Toker with tarot cards would tell me to say in the mirror every morning. And although I might viciously scroll past those videos and onto something about traveling, Lizzo’s writing seems more genuine, and upbeat, and of course, she attaches it to a music track that makes you feel like you could run forever. It carries a strong beat all throughout with hints of funk, R&B, and hip hop.

The song the album is named after, Special, is the epitome of this ‘powerful manifestations’ vibe of the album. Listening to it first, knowing the album was named after it, would give you a generalistic idea of what the entire album is looking to put across.

In case nobody told you today

You’re special (special)

In case nobody made you believe

You’re special (special)

Well, I will always love you the same

You’re special

I’m so glad that you’re still with us

Broken, but damn, you’re still perfect

Lizzo’s music has always been like this though. It might be entertaining music to sing in the car with all your friends, but there’s always an underlying message to it. It’s like Lizzo is tricking us into singing manifestations about friendships, confidence, maturity, and body positivity by putting it in the form of a song you can’t help but enjoy. Her songs also talk about things everyone can relate to, like referencing the time we were all stuck inside making smoothies and having to heal from being mercilessly stripped of human interaction.

Once again my theory that the last song on an artist’s album is always the best runs true in my opinion with Special. The only music expertise I have might be from playing the cello for 12 years, but it’s a pattern I’ve seen with a lot of albums released lately. It seems like as the album progresses they are generally less made for radio play and more of the artist’s actual style. By the time you get to the last song on the album, it’s the purest song that was made and published for no other reason than the artist loving the song. Special’s final song comes as Coldplay, which has a different beat and musical track than the other songs do, Lizzo singing in a higher key, and lyrics that seamlessly flow together to keep the smoothness of the song.

So maybe I started the morning off with Lizzo calling me a “motherfucker”, but I ended it with a bagel, coffee, and 12 new songs to disperse throughout my 109 Spotify playlists.

Yours truly,



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