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Sweet or sour? A track-by-track review of Ariana Grande’s new album

October 2, 2018

“Raindrops (An Angel Cried)”
The album opens with the acapella ballad “Raindrops (An Angel Cried).” Although the song showcases Grande’s angelic vocals flawlessly, I feel that the song is an odd start to the album. It sets the album on a note that does not translate to the rest of the tracks.

 

“Blazed ft. Pharrell Williams”

Many of the songs have a strong R&B influence, such as the second track on the album, “Blazed.” This is one of the better tracks on the album. Written and produced by Pharrell Williams, the song is very groovy and fun. It embodies the new era of Grande.

 

“The Light Is Coming ft. Nicki Minaj”

I don’t think that every song produced by Williams on “Sweetener” is a huge hit. For example: “The Light is Coming.” The song is bizarre. The sample of Senator Arlen Specter makes it difficult to truly and wholeheartedly enjoy. Despite this, Nicki Minaj kills it with her opening verse. The song is catchy, but it’s also definitely not Grande’s best.

 

“R.E.M.”

The next track, “R.E.M,” is the smooth R&B track I didn’t know I needed in my life. Grande’s vocals are once again flawless and the harmonizations are lovely. The lyrics are so romantic and extremely catchy. Overall, this song is one of my all-time favorite songs by Grande.

“God Is A Woman”

“God Is A Woman” is one of Grande’s most talked about songs, and I can see why. The song is so powerful and intense in the best way possible. The pre-chorus is so singable that it’s impossible not to love it. It was a major departure from Grande’s previous singles and it really payed off.

 

“Sweetener”

The title track of Grande’s new album is probably the closest to her old music... with a twist. It reminds me of something off of her debut album “Honeymoon Avenue.” Initially, “Sweetener” was my favorite song on the album. Once I became more acquainted with the tracklist, it didn’t stand out among the others because it is so similar to her older music.

 

“Successful”

“Successful” is one of the more unique songs off of the album. The tune is very fun and has a good beat, but the song is an acquired taste. At first, I hated it. But now that I’ve listened to it much more, it has truly grown on me and I think its an uncommon “bubblegum pop” take on R&B.

 

“Everytime”

To keep it simple, “Everytime” is truly an amazing song. It is one of those songs that you really feel the emotion behind it. Grande successfully made the transition to R&B with this song, and it’s one of her strongest on “Sweetener.”

 

“Breathin’”

“Breathin’” is my least favorite song on the album. It gets boring, tiring, and repetitive very quickly. I don’t hate it, but if I had to choose which song on “Sweetener” I dislike the most, it would have to be this track.

 

“No Tears Left To Cry”

Everyone knows that “No Tears Left To Cry” was one of the major bops of the summer— and for good reason. The song is refreshing for Grande and is easy to love. With the catchy hook and dance beats, there’s no question as to why it’s a hit.

 

“Borderline ft. Missy Elliot”

“Borderline” is so different from anything Grande has ever done. With some help from Missy Elliot, Grande breaks out of the pop and even R&B genres to something more similar to dance-style trap music. It’s a very unique song, but I like it.

 

“Better Off”

Grande’s classic slow songs that tug at your heartstrings are not absent from her new album thanks to “Better Off.” The slow, sad track is speculated to be about her relationship to the late Mac Miller and their relationship. It’s a beautiful song, and I think it’s a go-to for some motivation to move on from a relationship.

 

“Goodnight n Go”

“Goodnight n Go” is another one of the slower songs on “Sweetener." The lyrics are similar to those of a sweet love song, and I love it. Grande’s vocals are especially flawless in this track. It’s an all around good song.

 

“Pete Davidson”

Grande named the minute long song after her fiance Pete Davidson, causing quite a stir on social media. The song is sweet and to the point, as Grande repeats “Imma be happy” towards the end of the track. I love this song a lot and it shows the genuine love Grande and Davidson share

 

“Get Well Soon”

“Get Well Soon” is the final song on “Sweetener.” It is a feel-good song where Grande discusses many aspects of life and the way she gets through them. It’s uniquely structured and stands out from the rest. I think it’s a great closer for the album.

 

My Overall Review:

4/5 stars

Grande transforms her sound on her third album in a major way, and it lands perfectly. Every song is unique and extremely catchy. It is definitely one of my new favorites and I highly recommend.

 

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