As she belts out the opening line of the titular track from her third studio album, Cuz I Love You, Lizzo sounds like she’s letting out a battle cry. To a large extent, that’s what this album is. Following a career spanning 10 years, with two albums under her belt, Lizzo is finally getting her moment, and be damned those who get in her way. In what could well be career-defining record, Lizzo delivers everything she needs to and then some. As she teeters on the line between fan favourite and mainstream pop star, Cuz I Love You pushes her well into the latter.
If the the title track is a her battle cry, the rest of the album is a perfectly strategised attack led by the army of talents that the 30 year-old singer/songwriter/rapper/flutist possesses. Shifting her way through genres as easy as changing a TV channel, Lizzo makes it known that there is very little she can’t do flawlessly. Her voice is stellar and even in the quieter moments, the production still keeps up with the multiple bangers. Tracks like lead single ‘Juice’ and the Missy Elliott featuring ‘Tempo’ bang harder than most of the chart hits of the last five years combined, while the likes of ‘Jerome’ and ‘Lingerie’ provide more soulful and vulnerable moments. “Like A Girl” is a highlight in an album full of highlights and should give Lizzo a surefire hit if it’s pushed (“Only exes that I care about are in my fucking chromosomes” is an early front runner for lyric of the year).
However, Cuz I Love You isn’t just a major achievement for the artist behind it, it’s a major turning point for the industry, as a plus-size woman celebrates exactly who she is without a care in the world. The record’s title track may refer to a man, but the album is a love letter to herself, with almost every track dripping in appreciation for the brilliance of Lizzo. A guide in self-belief, the sheer confidence that drenches every cut on Cuz I Love You is infectious to the point of sheer delusion. Lizzo’s display of not only self-belief and ambition, but the talent to back it up, establishes her as both an undeniable tour de force, and a defining artist of our generation.