by Yasmine Shemesh
12. Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
It takes your breath away, Lizzo’s voice, on the first and title track of her major label debut, Cuz I Love You. She wails that song’s opening line with no backing, and it’s both a powerful and apt way to start the album, her voice bare, just her. It’s how she appears on the record’s cover and also the spirit in which she delivers its 11 tracks.
From sonic references like jazz, soul, funk, and trap to material that tackles sexuality (“Lingerie”), body positivity (“Tempo,” on which she pairs perfectly with Missy Elliott), race (“Better in Color”) and relationships (“Jerome”), Cuz I Love You is a triumphant declaration of self-love in every way.