Cuz I Love You is a powerful mix of independent women anthems and raw emotional ballads that balance rap and R&B flawlessly. Lizzo parades the full extent of her range from the title track, where her playful tone and perfect high notes combine to create one of the best songs of the year from one of the best albums.
The singles “Cuz I Love You,” “Tempo” and “Juice” hinted at an amazing album to come, but the quality of the complete album is unprecedented in her work. Lizzo has reached a new high in her musical career and has only just started showing us what she is capable of.
Lizzo demonstrates her ability to seamlessly mix themes on Cuz I Love You. She proves she’s not a snack, but a “whole damn meal” in “Juice” — she gives herself a musical break in the middle of “Heaven Help Me” to sob before singing again. The different directions she takes aren’t discordant or confusing. Instead, it feels as though we’ve been given an inside look into Lizzo’s mind and the workings of our own.
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Her ballads offer open emotion, showing she doesn’t have time for anyone’s bullshit, and her fast-paced bops play with old-style jazz and modern beats to show that she’s created her own lane.
Cuz I Love You is so authentically Lizzo that we feel like we’re in the room with her. She’s not shy about showing off her voice, and she adds a fun twist to each song to ensure you’ll never get bored. It’s a revolutionary tracklist full of self-love and hurt. Love and independence are not topics new to the genre, but Lizzo wields them gracefully, in a way you haven’t heard before.
Lizzo gives a new definition of vulnerability. This isn’t the breakup album full of pain you’re used to hearing. It isn’t made up of cheesy songs about love and loss that make you tear up. The songs all focus on her, even as the lyrics bounce between being good on her own and feeling lonely. Lizzo makes it clear that these two feelings can exist simultaneously within ourselves, and are a part of our own journeys to self-love and acceptance.
Her music captures the highs where we’re feeling ourselves and the lows where we have to stop talking about heartbreak and failure so we can take a moment to cry. In “Crybaby,” she sings “I don’t need to apologize/ Us big girls gotta cry.” Cuz I Love You is an unapologetic mess full of fun and the journey to becoming our full selves.
Cuz I Love You begins and concludes with two emotionally vulnerable tracks with amazing vocals — and there’s nothing but bangers in between. You’ll be just as impressed by her vocal range as you are by her emotional range. If she isn’t already one of your favorite artists, listen to Cuz I Love You and let Lizzo change your world.