September 10, 2018
Issue 10 2018
Music Review

Ariana Grande, Sweetener

7.5/10

I thought I’d attempt to listen to Ariana Grande’s album Sweetener. I wondered if it would be too sickly and mainstream, but I actually… liked it. Who knew? I think it’s this good because of Pharrell Williams’ guidance on the album. He’s a producer and songwriter on the album. He helps to shift her music from being any old generic pop song into something truly engaging and beautiful to listen to. Pharrell makes sure Grande’s vocals are at the fore-front and the most important part of the entire album, not crowded and drowned out by trendy shit.

Although, I could hear too much of his influence in here and it felt more like a collaborative album rather than her own. For example, R.E.M sounds too much like a Pharrell Williams song.

However, I think this is probably the best work she has done. Her vocals are so beautiful on this record - you can’t deny that she is one of the most brilliant singers out there. Her vocals on Goodnight and go are so angelic.

I think Grande has finally found her authentic sound and style, bring in a fusion of old school R&B sounds with the current pop trends. She perfectly describes the album as this - “here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it”.

God is a Woman and Breathin are two extremely powerful anthems. There are a few tracks that I didn't like though, especially The Light is Coming with Nicki Minaj. It’s very, very repetitive with an over-played sample in the background.

I’m not completely in awe of this album but I’m not denying it’s a great album.