Lizzo: “Cuz I love you”

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This Detroit-born flute-handling singer-songwriter and her major-label debut “Cuz I love you” cuzed a little stir in the music industry due to the loud, body-positive image and often genreless (technically confusing?) tunes. Her newest album is full of musical influences, energetic beats and obviously confident phrases – sung, rapped, yelled…

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The record opens with a title track. Cuz I love you, according to Lizzo herself is a big, brassy, orchestral moment. Indeed, it does sound like some show-opening, Beyoncé-inspired, monumental high school drama audition. Soulful, powerful vocals appear now and again, in between of rappy verses. As the record ends with its powerful and dramatic title verse, another song starts. Like a girl is a pleasant, entertaining and sweetly naive anthem, with lyrics referencing Serena Williams and personal independence. That could have been one of the modern feminist anthems. Well, I think Kesha did it better a couple years ago on her “Rainbow” album.

Juice, the lead single off the album, which to me sounds Motown inspired(in a very lovely way!) is the quintessence of Lizzo’s style(both musically and lyrically) and the best song on the record. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, don’t say it cuz I know I’m cute!” – even the first few seconds of this bop prove the banger-ability this girl has and the reason why she got signed to Atlantic Records. Such a shame that the next track, Soulmate, is a totally predictable, tired to death bore full of industry tricks. Jerome shows the amazing vocal ability of the singer, and despite sounding a bit like Rihanna’s Love on the brain and using the “open letter to the guy who hurt me” formula is still one of my favourites. Cry Baby and Tempo are also worth listening to. The first one has a great instrumental and first-class, heartfelt, vocal performance. The second one, with an instrumentally confusing intro, is a duet with Missy Elliot and proper ping pong, mind fuck piece. Exactly how I feel is a squeaky collab with Gucci Mane, Better in color shows off her true ones, with production again being a mix of vocal-showing retro and “these today’s rappers” style. After brilliantly written Heaven Help Me, the album ends with a stripped-down Lingerie.

Lizzo is definitely a desperately needed figure in today’s music, and a great inspiration for artists who don’t want to be locked inside a one genre drawer, despite the suggestions of their record label. Hopefully, for Lizzo it’s the beginning of something big. Is the album worth listening to? Yes. Is it going to be iconic one day? No.

Equality, feminism, gender roles… My thoughts on Amy Schumer and her new film “I feel pretty”

Amy Schumer is probably the most hated stand-up comedian on the planet. Constantly criticised in America for her controversial jokes and topics she likes to choose for her TV and stand up content, but somehow still influential and loved by lots of famous people in the perfect world of showbiz, glitter and NYC penthouses. I’ve heard her Netflix special was the first one ever to receive a one-star rating from the viewers. Well, I admit that her performance in that one didn’t set my knickers on fire, no fire brigade was called to Shettleston while watching, but the general reception of her work still surprises me. In a bad way though, as it shows how much more we have to learn in modern society.

For those who are not familiar, Amy jokes about her vagina, periods, sex life, relationships with men and other widely known but not spoken about awkward topics. It’s Friday night. Legions of young Americans, armed with alcoholic beverages, ice cream, french fries, whatever, can’t wait to see Beyonce performing on TV. Their heart rate influenced by tons of Diet Coke, peri peri wraps from nearby BBQueen Grill restaurant and Beyoncé’s empowering lyrics and soul-lifting dance moves is faster than bullets of their guns they can legally purchase after turning 18. Beyonce is so amazing, so empowering, such a great example for young girls, black women, people of colour – that’s something most people would say. I like Beyoncé too. She’s an exceptional performer, her songs are great and I love singing along to Love on Top after eleven £3.30 vodka sodas at 2:31 AM.

I just don’t understand how one performer can dance provocatively, sing about sex and use curse words and everyone including Obamas, Oprah, middle-aged housewives and white millennials with student loans bigger than Beyonce’s career itself go crazy when the other is being called unfunny and trash. But Tom, she’s just not funny, that’s all. Ok, but come on, let’s get real – when you don’t enjoy something, you just change the channel or do something else with your time – go shopping, go to the gym, fold trousers, yodel at Walmart… but some people, quite a lot, choose to make “Amy Schumer cringe compilations” and post them on YouTube.

Recently, I met one guy from the States and invited him to come over. We had a chat about the differences between American and British TV, especially chat shows. I told him how much I love Graham Norton, where celebrities, just like us normal people, can have a drink and swear a little bit. In America, even the word “swallow” has to be beeped out, as it might be taken in the wrong way. At least that’s how that boy explained it. When asked about Amy Schumer, he said: It’s just… tasteless. For a woman to talk like that, joke like that.

It’s 2018. We stand together for gender equality and at the same time chick from Long Island joking about a stranger going down on her being a hero is an issue for us? I work in a shop and every day I see guys literally scratching their balls in public, talking about girls in an objectifying way. But boys will be boys I guess, just like haters gonna hate or something. Unless we change the way we raise them, together with the way we raise girls. Hopefully, your daughters will be able to say whatever they want to say – without being judged as women.

Today I had a chance to attend a pre-screening of Amy’s new movie I Feel Pretty (in cinemas May 4) somewhere in Odeon outside Glasgow City Centre. I won’t tell you where exactly because during the journey I was too busy pretending I’m Ariana Grande while her new song was playing, and I didn’t pay attention to the road.

If you feel like I’m kinda right, but at the same time don’t like explicit and vulgar humour – you should give Amy Schumer a chance and go see her new movie. I feel pretty is a HardSwearingAndDirectSexualTermsAndReferences-free comedy about a girl named Renee.

NYC based girl works in some shitty office lives in one of those you can do better hun apartments and struggles with low self-esteem. Living in the world full of perfect people while having a few extra lbs/kgs to cuddle can, indeed, be quite depressing. In order to become someone, she joins this gym nearby. What happens there? She suffers head injury after falling down from this bicycle thing. That’s why you’ll never see me at the gym. I’m fine with my 56 kilograms, thank you.

But wow, she hits her head really hard and suddenly starts seeing herself as a new person, hot as a supermodel, even though she, obviously, hasn’t changed at all. Extra (ridiculous and psychotic) confidence boost opens a lot of new doors for her. Except for talking to a stranger she met in the queue at Dry Cleaners, forcing him to ask her out and making him fall in love with her, she also proves that with enough confidence you can be like Beyoncé too! Despite being far from typical canons of beauty, Renee gets a job at one of the leading beauty companies and starts hanging out with them pretty girls.

I don’t feel like it’s my job to describe this film to you. That’s what Google and Wikipedia are for. I’m writing this to share my point of view on something I consider very important.

People were laughing. I tend to sit down with a bottle glass of wine after work, watch Amy’s comedy and post some on my Instagram story. I always get replies: omg she’s so unfunny. And suddenly I’m there sitting around all these people who are outside of ideological YouTube comment section battle, and hear them laugh.

Maybe Schumer chilled with using very explicit language and humour in this one, but there’s one thing this film and her stand up have in common – incredibly funny self-body shaming. Doesn’t sound good, but is good and can do good for you.

As soon as we understand what’s wrong with us and turn it into a joke – everything seems easier. Because nobody’s flawless. Well, maybe Beyonce…