If you have the good fortune to become the surprise “Who’s she and where on Earth did she come from?!” musical success story of the year, what do you do for your encore? The same thing you just did, of course.
I’m talking about Meghan Trainor, the 20-year-old blue-eyed soul singer from Massachusetts whose throwback ” All About That Bass” zoomed out of nowhere to become one of the biggest hits of 2014. Now she’s back with a follow-up track that sports the same sassy, self-assured charm … as well as some of the same philosophical problems.
“Lips Are Movin” pairs ’50s-approved doo-wop harmonies with lyrics that almost could have fit that decade as well. The catchy ditty calls out a no-good cheater who, Meghan has figured out, is a liar. “If your lips are movin’,” she begins confrontationally, “then you’re lyin’, lyin’, lyin’, baby.” How does she know? The scent of a woman—another woman—is on his clothes: “I smell her on your collar, so goodbye-bye-bye, bye-bye-bye.” Putting a modern twist on Ray Charles’ classic “Hit the Road Jack,” she tells her two-timin’ cad, “Go find someone new/ … Baby, don’t you know I’m done?”
Kudos to Meghan for giving this double crosser the ol’ heave-ho. That response models healthy self-respect and a refusal to be taken advantage of by a cheater who mistakenly thinks he can charm and befuddle his gal with sweet nothings (“I might be young, but I ain’t stupid/Talking around in circles with your tongue”) and lavish gifts (“You can buy me diamond earrings and deny-ny-ny, ny-ny-ny, deny-ny”).
Even as Meghan gathers up her self-respect, though, we find out that her slithery guy has already conned her into sharing her “bass” with him. It’s a reference, of course, to the backside Trainor made famous in her first hit. How do we know she’s done such a thing? She laments, “I gave you bass/You gave me sweet talk.” Knowing she should be more to him than the sum of her physical qualities and affection, she sings, “Boy, look at me in my face/Tell me that you’re not just about this bass.”
Sadly, he’s not.
Meghan’s right to show this disrespectful, duplicitous dude the door. It’s just too bad she couldn’t have discerned his wily ways before she gave her bass away. So, as was the case with “All About That Bass,” young fans are left sifting through a mixed message, one that majors in self-respect even as it reinforces the presupposition that physical connection (giving ourselves away) is simply a given when you first fall in love.
As for the video, it focuses on Meghan singing and sashaying about while wearing flirty but not super skimpy skirts. She occasionally shimmies suggestively, but for the most part the images she’s created sport the same brand of old-fashioned attitude that the song itself does. (We do see a guy suggestively slap another man’s, um, bass.)
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews.