Album Title: Special
Producer: Nice Life Recording Company and Atlanta Recording Corporation
Release Date: 2022
Genre/Format of the Item: Music Album
Reading Level/Interest Level:
Previous albums were rated 13+ (Commonsense Media)
Album Summary: Lizzo sings about her life over the past few years, including during the pandemic, and of where she is now. Her songs speak of her feelings about her body, her self-image and self-confidence, her friendships, and love interests. . Lizzo’s song have a retro sound to them, mixed with dance party tunes and her sultry voice. The first half of the album is loud, emotive, and overflowing with defiance; the second half of the album has a smooth, quieter, introspective feel to it.
Author/Musician Background: Lizzo was born in Detroit Michigan. Her name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson and she grew up in a house that loved all kinds of different music and musicians. The name Lizzo comes from a combination of a nickname of Lissa and the artist Jay-Z’s song “Izzo”. Lizzo played the flute prior to becoming a singer in elementary school and high school. She also rapped and formed small music groups in high school. Lizzo earned a music scholarship for the flute to Houston University. She left the university to pursue a music career in her junior year. She met the artist Prince and even made an appearance on his album Plectrumelectrum (2014). Her first album was Cuz I Love You in 2019. She has won three Grammy Awards since then (Biography.com Editors, 2022).
Critical Evaluations: While this album has an abundance of profane language, the songs are catchy, soulful, and absolutely likable. Lizzo has given a voice to women who may struggle from body image issues and has shown the world that loving oneself is of utmost importance. She is a strong, confident Black woman who is not afraid to show her feelings or her body. This is very important for all teens to see and hear. Shortly after Lizzo’s song “Grrrls” was released, Lizzo received a lot of backlash about the use of the word “spaz” in her lyrics. It can be a slur for disabled people. Lizzo responded immediately by apologizing for her mistake on social media and changing the lyric and rereleasing the song (Walsh, 2022). This speaks volumes about the person that Lizzo is and integrity of her music. I think that this album is one that many teens can relate to and will enjoy.
Creative Use for a Library Program: I think that this music would be great to use for a teen library dance party. This could happen in the summer and be a way for teens to come to the library and feel comfortable being themselves there. This could be a summer reading program special event. If teens finish the reading program,then they could be invited to an end of the summer dance party. There would be music, food, and books to check out of course!
Speedround/Book Trailer: It’s easy to see why Lizzo’s brand new album is titled Special ! Lizzo has rocked the music world with her new album! Packed with new sounds and deep feelings, Lizzo’s new album is not to be missed!
Potential Challenge Issues/Defense Preparations: This album may be challenged for the profane language used in some songs. Although there is some profanity, the songs are empowering to females, especially women of color. The language is not uncommon for teenagers to hear or use, and therefor is not a reason to not listen to the album.
Reason for Inclusion: I love Lizzo’s music and her positive body image and self-assurance that is portrayed in her music. I wanted to have a diverse and inclusive selection in my blog, and I think that Lizzo is an artist that is both popular and a positive role model for teens.
Biography.com Editors. (2022, January 4). Lizzo. https://www.biography.com/musician/lizzo
Lizzo Music. (2022, April 14). Lizzo: About damn time [Official Video] [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXXxciRUMzE
Walsh, K. (2022, June 14). Lizzo changed her song lyrics in response to criticism, like a queen. Glamour. https://www.glamour.com/story/lizzo-grrls-song-lyrics-change