Why Lizzo Says ‘Special’ Is ‘a Soundtrack to Survive’

Lizzo became mainstream famous in 2019 and has since continued giving her fans hits after hits. The singer is known for her bold antics and body positivity, as she is for her talent. She recently dropped her fourth studio album, Special, which she says is a “soundtrack to survive.”

Lizzo didn’t want any features on her album ‘Special’

lizzo special
Lizzo performs onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. | Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET

After releasing her award-winning studio album Cuz I Love You, Lizzo got to work on her fourth studio album, Special. In 2020 she shared with her followers that the album was almost complete, save for a few songs. The following year the singer announced that “Rumors” would be her first song, dropping it on August 13.

The song featured rapper Cardi B. She then said that her album was done at a festival in March 2022 and that it was “coming very, very soon.” She told Zane Lowe in April that Special was originally titled In Case Nobody Told You until they restructured the hook for the song ‘Special,’ resulting in the album’s name change.

Shortly after releasing “About Damn Time,” Lizzo announced that Special would drop on July 15 and released a tracklist for the album on July 6. Lizzo told The Breakfast Club recently that she wanted to have the spotlight on the album and didn’t want to include other artists in the project.

She said, “Obviously, there were people who I’m a fan of that I’ve sent songs to and everything, and it didn’t work out. But I do get a little greedy, where it’s like, ‘Man, I really just want to take this opportunity to show y’all what I can do.'”

Lizzo said that although she is open to working with other people on other projects, she wanted Special to represent its title. “It’s a classic, no-skip album with no features. I think I deserve to have that moment.”

Lizzo called ‘Special’ a ‘soundtrack to survive’

Lizzo recently sat down with Elle UK to talk about her career, and she revealed that when she was writing songs for Special, she came up with several that didn’t make it into the final lineup. She told the magazine that while some were her favorite, she didn’t want to include a song that didn’t serve a greater purpose.

“I think the greater purpose is: what do I need to say right now that can help people forever?” She told the outlet that several issues came to mind during writing. Some of the issues she pondered included social justice, climate change, and mental health, which the flute player acknowledges is a critical issue.

“It seems like every week, we are hit with traumatic events. And one doesn’t outrank the other. They’re all equally as tragic, equally as terrifying, equally as traumatic.” Lizzo disclosed that she struggled to find joy in being an entertainer when people were dying.

“I had to remember when we come out of lockdown, people are going to be coming out of a depression,” she said. “I wanted to make music that people can use as a soundtrack to survive. That was the driver for this album,” she continued.

How is ‘Special’ performing?

The album received a positive response from music critics upon its initial release. Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100, gave Special a 78 out of 100 based on 16 reviews. The album debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold 69,000 units in its first week, becoming the singer’s highest-charting album to date. Special is also the highest-charting album by a female artist in 2022.

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