Ariana Grande is a former Nickelodeon star turned Pop R&B singer because that’s what happens, you get on some T.V show and then you make music, but rarely do you find someone succeed in the way that Grande has. ‘Problem’ is probably the best and biggest song of the summer and most people probably aren’t even aware who Grande’s past that echoes with the like of Miranda Cosgrove, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato etc.
‘Problem’ still packs a punch that is somewhere between catchy summer dance off and ‘kill me now before I hear this song one more time’. I actually think that Iggy Azalea’s verse is the best part of the song, which is odd considering that I thought Charli XCX was the strongest part of her summer hit ‘Fancy’.
‘Problem’ follows an unremarkable intro track ‘Intro’ which sounds like a soft R&B lullaby that would probably be in more comfort on her debut Your Truly because My Everything is Grande’s entrance into pop-stardom despite her debut really working with the Pop R&B/00’s Hip Hop hi-hat triplets.
‘One Last Time’ and ‘Why Try’ prove to be formulaic but they work because they’re not annoyingly predictable, instead they are so formulaic that you don’t notice and you don’t even care, it’s this indistinguishableness that causes her to have a mini-Rihanna moment on the latter track instead of her normal mini-Mariah moments.
In contrast to ‘Problem’, ‘Break Free’ might just be the worst song I’ve heard this year. Zedd produced it and it’s basically that song her did with Foxes just without Foxes and with Grande instead, in fact why don’t you go out an listen to any Zedd song and you’ve got break free. It’s boring and just club-fodder, it’s lower than low because on an artistic level it’s lower than Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’.
Big Sean is back for another collaboration with ‘Best Mistake’, one that’s more subdued than ‘Right There’ and Grande actually seems to pull of these rap collaborations where normally the rapper will come in and ruin the track. but instead the production has been constructed to compliment both star and feature; just not on ‘Love Me Harder’.
‘Be My Baby’ and is a grown up post ‘Disney’ pop R&B blend that has an dark adult attitude that hasn’t been all that dolled up for 12 year old girls. It’s with ‘Be My Baby’ where we almost come to a sonic change, everything seems to be progressing, but separate from the rest of the album. The lyrics become more risque and the inclusion of Childish Gambino isn’t an obvious one for the mainstream as I perceive mainly as on the borderline of the underground/mainstream who sells record because of Community.
I can only think that The Weeknd is on ‘Love Me Harder’ is a bid to ‘sex Ariana’s image up away from “cutesy”‘ but it’s just a little sloppy especially as it precedes token ballad/soft song ‘Just a Little Bit of Your Heart’ before surprise of the album ‘Hands on Me’ where she and A$AP Ferg bring the most risque song Grande has done to date.
‘Hands on Me’, for me might as well be where the album ends. It’s the peak of my interest and is the cherry on the cake when it comes to this album’s dubious hotpot of moral brand role model lyrical content.
Grande is no overwhelming force like Beyonce and she’s not trying to revolutionise anything in the way that Nicki Minaj is, yet she’s not trying to be the worlds biggest pop icon like Katy Perry and has yet to have an artistic breakdown like Lady Gaga or to find her inner self like Taylor Swift. Instead Grande has made a safe and for the most part unassuming R&B Pop album that through a need to reach the top of the charts has crippled itself.
My Everything doesn’t have the club power of Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic because if anything it’s more all over the place as a pop album. Her vocals are strong and the instrumentation is hit and miss but Grande deep down hasn’t escaped her ‘Disney’ roots; to do that she’s going to have to break something, and I look forward to seeing if she does.