Ariana Grande – “sweetener” review

Ariana Grande is a 25 year old singer & actress who first came to prominence as a part of the Nickelodeon shows Victorious and Sam & Cat. She then focused on making music, with this being her 4th full-length album.

Things start off with “raindrops (an angel cried)”, which is a decent cover of the 4 Seasons song with the same name. The next track “blazed” gets playful over a tropical Pharrell instrumental while the song “the light is coming” with Nicki Minaj is about getting through hard times with Pharrell providing a dance-pop vibe to the beat. The track “R.E.M.” is about meeting her fiancé Pete Davidson over a spacey Pharrell instrumental while the song “God is a woman”‘is a sex positive tune with a R&B/trap fused instrumental.

The title track is about bringing positive energy over rubbery bass & a piano while the song “successful” is an empowering woman’s anthem over a Pharrell instrumental that sounds like vintage Neptunes. The track “everytime” talks about going back to this terrible boyfriend over an atmospheric beat while the song “breathin’” talks about anxiety over an instrumental I feel like I’ve heard a couple times already. The track “no tears left to cry” is about the Manchester Arena bombings from last year & the UK Garage instrumental is absolutely perfect

The song “borderline” gets sexual over a fun Pharrell instrumental that suits the tone perfectly & the Missy Elliott verse is great, but it should’ve been a little bit longer. The track “better off” talks about her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller over a moody instrumental & the song “goodnight n go” is a mediocre cover of the Imogen Heap song with the same name. The penultimate track “pete davidson” is a heartwarming tribute to her fiancé with the same name & the closer “get well soon” talks about anxiety once again over a luscious Pharrell instrumental.

I’ve never really been big into Ariana’s music, but this is her best work yet. The passion is there & it’s very well-produced in contrast to her last 3 albums. If you’re like me & found her previous material to be average at best, this should change your mind.

Score: 3.5/5

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