By Grant Moyo Fun times, ups and downs — quite an array of all sorts of emotions subsequently surfacing up on ‘Special’, Lizzo’s spanking new fourth studio album.
Preceded by its lead single titled ‘About Damn Time’, which catapulted to position 2 on the Billboard Hot 100— on this up-to-the-minute body of work the American singer-songwriter and rapper lays it all on the line.
Sorting a leeway for listeners to indulge in her selfsame peacock flowery lyrics that make every piece of auditory sensation much bona fide.
Smart with a big heart, Lizzo, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson earned mainstream good fortune with the dropping of her third studio album called ‘Cuz I Love You’ (2019). While this album that spawned beats like ‘Juice’ and ‘Tempo’ peaked inside the top 5 of the US Billboard 200, ‘Truth Hurts’ — a 2017 single taken from the latter album’s deluxe version— officially became a viral sleeper hit, just two years after its initial release. Thoroughly enjoyable, ‘Truth Hurts’ mounted on top of the US Billboard Hot 100.
As the latter sound became the longest-leading solo song by a female rapper, ‘Good as Hell’ — Lizzo’s 2016 single — also climbed the charts, reaching the top 10 on the Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart. Sneaking past other nominees, the singer-songwriter walked away with gongs for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Pop Solo Performance (‘Truth Hurts’), and Best Traditional R&B Performance (‘Jerome’) at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Lizzo has also garnered a Billboard Music Award, BET Award, and two Soul Train Music Awards.
In the next chapter of her career, her honest and tangible soul, rhythm and blues, pop, and hip-hop infused album ‘Special’ — features a stunning mixed bag of 12 songs — representing all facets of her as an artiste. Completing the track list are jams that bring out tones of gravel in her voice listing ‘2 B Loved (Am I Ready)’, ‘Special’ the title track, ‘The Sign’, ‘Grrrls’, ‘I Love You Bitch’, ‘Break Up Twice’, ‘Everybody’s Gay’, ‘Naked’, ‘Birthday Girl’, ‘If You Love Me’ and ‘Cold play’.
Representing different vibes in their spaces by doing justice to the fresh-cut musical offering — swanking pure sounds unapologetic — Ricky Reed, Mark Ronson, Max Martin and Benny Blanco produced Lizzo’s a la mode project. Having received RIAA platinum records for his piece of work on Jason Derulo’s (4×) platinum certified banger ‘Talk Dirty’ featuring 2 Chainz and (2×) platinumcertified smash ‘Wiggle’ featuring Snoop Dogg — Reed dished out his charismatic different sides of his deftness in hard yet yummy melodic knocks.
Ronson, whom to date has teamed up with renowned artists like Adele, Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Miley Cyrus, Robbie Williams, and Queens of the Stone Age — hit the groove as he gracefully demonstrated his chops and experience with total precision. Validating why he is highly rated and was the rightful producer to flaunt his production dynamics on ‘Shallow’ — a song for the soundtrack of Lady Gaga’s film ‘A Star Is Born’ — which went platinum in 11 countries, winning a Golden Globe as well as an Oscar Award for Best Original Song.
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At his level best, Max Martin steps into the production zone of ‘Special’ head and shoulders over most projects he has been involved in to date. Besides producing and co-producing, the veteran Swedish record producer has written or co-written 25 Billboard Hot 100 number 1 musical compositions. Making a string of hit singles like Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl’ (2008) and ‘Roar’ (2013), Maroon 5’s ‘One More Night’ (2012), Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ and ‘Blank Space’ (2014), The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ (2019) and ‘Save Your Tears’ (2020), as well as latterly being the album producer of Coldplay’s commercial success ninth studio body of work called ‘Music of the Sphere’ (2021). Ever blazing on the beats, Martin’s midas touch on Lizzo’s newest musical offering is perfectly on point.
Not to be left out, Blanco lets loose his reign behind the boards, shewing his class as a seasoned producer. Imposingly contributing to the sale of over 500 million albums worldwide through his work with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Avicii, Justin Bieber, Juice WRLD, Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna, Halsey, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Keith Urban, Adam Lambert, Sia, Torey Lanez, Charlie Puth, Kesha, and J Balvin— the American record producer delivers his star power to match Lizzo’s astronomically amazing energy.
On the record album (‘Special’), audiencesare driven on a cliff-hanging and nail-biting opentripabout the extremist positive stimulus of conjuring up self love and squashingthebleak past. It is a brutal honest opinion of what the Grammy Award-winning, RIAA multi-platinum certified singer-songwriter and rapper— encountered throughout her ghastly journey of finding sex, credenceand a rose gold outlook. Hats off to Lizzo for impressively snatching and stripping the realness in the notion that gives tongue to whether or not accepting that ‘every battle leaves its own scars’ is literal on ‘Special’ — the title track.
As the centerpiece, ‘I Love You Bitch’ is the ballad that captures the heart and soul of the entire album. So musically, Lizzo sounds like a super heroine with her hearty tone. The album ticks off with the batheticlordly triumph of the piece of music called ‘Coldplay’— a calculation of ‘Yellow’ — the British rock band’s tune that once touched down and made waves in the mainstream.
Kicking off the hyping of her album, Lizzo presented ‘2 B Loved (Am I Ready)’ and ‘Special’ the title track — with a celebratory live performance as part of NBC’s 2022 ‘Citi Concert Series on Today’. ‘Special’ has already proven a worldwide fan favorite after Lizzo’s recent performances on NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ and a red-letter broadcast of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on CBS’s ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’. The latter piece of euphony, which amassed 1 million views in the first 24 hours following its premiere last month, soon rose to position 4 on YouTube’s ‘Trending’ chart. Besides a re-airing of her ‘Saturday Night Live’ double duty on NBC, Lizzo’s interview on ‘Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen’ recently aired on Bravo.
More to that, the rapper’s worldwide smash ‘About Damn Time’ lit up Tik Tok with over 5 million creates— hitting the video-focused social networking service’s number 1 overall sound — in the United States. With over 1 million units sold, the latter anthem set on position 1 at Top 40 radio — reaching number 1 on Hot AC. On the verge of becoming Lizzo’s highest streaming song thus far —‘About Damn Time’ which marked Lizzo’s fourth top 10 ‘Hot 100’ hit — has also been making the rounds within the South African region for quite some time. Coasting her way to number 4 on the South African radio charts— this tune steadfast— maintained its vigor at some stations whilst synchronously advancing the charts on to the next.
Not only did ‘About Damn Time’ accumulate 1 114 plays, this instant hitproduced 76,2 million listens across all South African radio stations. Boasting the greatest number of impressions coming from some of the country’s prestigious stations such as Metro FM, 5FM, Good Hope FM, KFM, 947, Algoa FM, YFM 99.2 and Heart 104.9 FM. After setting about last month’s 2022 BET Awards ceremony, Lizzo earned worldwide applause for her dazzling live performance of ‘About Damn Time’.
“It’s always a party when Lizzo is onstage, and she proved that once again on Sunday night. The singer brought the house down with an electrifying performance of her smash hit, ‘About Damn Time’, raved Entertainment Tonight.
Putting their valuable point across, Billboard declared that — “Kicking off the awards ceremony with an unbridled celebration…Lizzo did it all.” Itching to weigh in on the very best moments of this year’s edition of the awarding ceremony, Vogue put the limelight on Lizzo’s style and performance.
“She rocked a disco-ball pantsuit, played her flute, showed off some flawless vocals, and participated in some top-notch choreography. It was Lizzo who truly stole the show. The singer brought over-the-top glamour to the event in a way that only she can,” wrote Vogue.
Lizzo’s up-to-the-minute record album will be further celebrated by her biggest North American headline tour to date. The ‘Special Tour’ starts out this September, the 23rd— at Sunrise, FL’s FLA Live Arena — prior to journeying through mid-November. Leading up to her recipe to greatness — feeling much comfortable in her body and skin— Lizzo has so much texture in her voice that brings fire to her signature move.
n Grant Moyo is a prolific writer, innovative media personality, entrepreneur and a creative artist who is passionate about using his creative mind for the betterment of society.
Follow him on Twitter: @TotemGrant