Lizzo loves us. We know it, because she told us. She named her album after us, Cuz I Love You, as casual and simple as a text from a friend. She really didn't need to spell it out for us, though, because each of its atomically joyful and furiously loving 11 tracks are the purest musical form of the stuff on the market.
Her romance takes on many forms on Cuz I Love You. It's a girl power record like one we've never heard before, inclusive of different experiences and struggles: when girls feel bad, as well as for when they feel powerful (see: "Like A Girl," "Exactly How I Feel," "Cry Baby"). It worships Blackness: Lizzo lovingly crafted a twerking anthem dedicated to bodies like hers with, coaxing Missy Elliott out of recording retirement for the occasion (see: "Tempo," "Better In Color," the shout-outs to Lauryn Hill and Serena Williams, and her Kimmel performance of "Juice" where she got her hair braided on stage). It's a tribute to the kind of romantic ("Cuz I Love You") and physical ("Lingerie") pleasure possible on this godforsaken planet when you let yourself feel worthy and desirable, like Lizzo can help you do with her self-love commandments ("Soulmate" "Jerome" "Heaven Help Me").
Despite the fact that these themes — girl power, Black empowerment, self-love and body positivity — are ubiquitous in pop music right now, Lizzo's songs go under the skin while other's bounce off. Maybe it's because every track on Cuz I Love You sounds horse-powered with the energy of an entire gospel choir or a cast of Drag Race contestants, but the fuel is just Lizzo's colossal personality, sense of humor and vision. She floors it throughout the album on the musical highway she built for herself (with help from Prince, Janelle Monáe, Beyoncé and a few others) one which storms into contemporary trap and hip-hop, 90's R&B, 70's electric-guitar splashed funk and honky-tonk southern soul, and wrought pop balladry at Lizzo's whimsey.
The result is a personal and artistic triumph, that is without a doubt, going to incite people around the world to storm clubs, leave bad men and bad jobs, heal from trauma and love fiercely. It's out now.
Lizzo gave a revelatory performance at Coachella last weekend, will do it again on Sunday, continues to make the late night TV rounds, and how she's headed out on tour: thank god, because these songs were made for screaming back to her while she holds out the mic. Soon, you'll know every word.
Photo courtesy of Lizzo