ABOVE PHOTO: This image released by Atlantic Records shows “Special” the latest album by Lizzo. (Atlantic via AP)
By Martina Rebecca Inchingolo
Singer and rapper Lizzo wasn’t kidding when she came out with the title for her latest album — it truly is a journey to get to your most “Special” self.
This album is an ode to body positivity that doesn’t shy away from how hard it can be to get there and the dark times we endure to feel love-worthy.
“Special” features the funky single “About Damn Time,” already a TikTok sensation (“In a minute, I’ma need a sentimental/Man or woman to pump me up/Feelin’ fussy, walkin’ in my Balenci-ussies”) and “Grrrls” — modified after its release due to backlash over the use of a derogatory term towards some people with disabilities.
While the album sticks to Lizzo’s proud and loud style towards body acceptance, the slow ballad, “If You Love Me,” explores the doubts and uncertainties we encounter on the way and is sure to bring a tear down your cheek — or a waterfall (“When the world can’t love me to my face/When the mirror lies and starts to break/Hold me close, don’t let me run away/Don’t be afraid”).
The album feels closer and more personal from her previous work, unlocking a more vulnerable side of the extroverted artist.
However, this is Lizzo we are talking about, therefore “Special” has to be a celebration as well. Pop song “The Sign” is sure to be this year’s summer anthem during brunches and nights out. “Special” is about friendships, heartbreaks, self-doubts, empowerment and, most importantly, love: Love for the people in our life and for ourselves and who we are.
Lizzo is still the undefeated queen of self-love, the hero we all need to feel our most authentic and special self. Just as it happens in real life, this album is a ride through exhilarating happiness and rainy days.
If you need a friendly pep talk or a soundtrack to a good cry moment, “Special” will be the right companion for that.
Wherever you find yourself in your life, don’t forget the wise words Lizzo sings in the title track: “In case nobody told you today, you’re special.”