Good News is a laundry list of feel good anthems with a sex positive mindset. The aptly titled debut LP from Texas MC, Megan Thee Stallion, provides a much needed reprieve during some undeniably dark times. The 17-track celebration is saturated in bad-bitch energy and is a tough record at its core. The momentum is ferocious and consistent, only slowing down for breath once or twice. Appearances from Beyonce & City Girls provide backup but she often doesn’t need it. Powerhouse tracks like “Shots Fired” and “Body” are executed solely by Megan, who alternates between rapid fire flows and dance breaks with ease.
The instrumentals on Good News are industrial and experimental. Trap drums are accented with synthesized plucks reminiscent of 90’s house. “Go Crazy feat. Big Sean & 2 Chainz” utilizes a slippery arpeggiated melody, backed by persistent 808’s. Fast tempos are the ever present engine guiding the rhythms forward but our insatiable host is always the focus. Megan’s vocal prowess is on display from the very start with, “Shots Fired”. She commands the iconic Biggie instrumental without missing a beat, decimating a certain Canadian artist who shot her in the foot earlier this year. The elegantly crafted diss track is nearly absent of punchlines and innuendo, all facts and lacerations. “Circles” is exuberant self affirmation, expressing sheer triumph over an infectious breakbeat.
“Cry Baby feat. DaBaby” is lyrically focused on the bedroom, but could easily serve as the soundtrack for much more menacing activities. There’s an eerie juxtaposition between the innocuous vocal sample and the downright hedonistic things being said. “Movie feat. Lil Durk” and “Body” provide ample space for painting the picture, allowing Megan to relay every stimulating detail possible. Similarly, “Do It on the Tip” works wonders with very little; essentially being comprised of drums and instructions. Primal urges are encouraged through group chants and swarming adlibs. The bounce of “Whats New” is Megan at her best, addressing her status as a household name in a playful manner. The clever use of the whistle during the chorus is a welcome appropriation of a sound affiliated with catcalling.
“Dont Rock Me to Sleep” is an unnecessary cool down before the crescendo of tracks at the end. The concept is noble; touching on issues of transparency and intimacy, but delivered through a refrain that overstays its welcome. The beat is a nice detour sonically, similar to synth driven “Intercourse”, however the album functions just fine without them. The tracklist ends with the remarkably strange “Don’t Stop” which recruits Atlanta-born eccentric Young Thug to close things out on a high note. While some beats are industrial in spirit, this one literally flips screeches and shrill grinding sounds into something twerk-worthy. After a historically tumultuous year, Good News brings the dancefloor to your doorstep. Despite its flaws, it’s one of the most ambitious records of the year and delivers exactly what its name implies.