TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW: Ariana Grande – My Everything
Ariana Grande has well and truly transformed herself from a Nickelodeon TV actress to a pop diva. “My Everything” is her second studio album and offers a twelve track pop/RNB collision of brilliance and confusion.
1. “Intro” – Opening with a vocal piece accompanied by piano Ariana sings “I’ll give you all I have and nothing less I promise” and she means it. The sound of this intro is very similar to material on her debut album and is the fitting opening to this mainly pop affair.
2. “Problem” featuring Iggy Azalea – This is the song that started her commercial takeover of the music industry. I personally was so excited about this collaboration because of my love for Iggy Azalea and this song exceeded all my expectations with a brassy chorus and killer attitude.
3. “One Last Time” – This will be a future single and another smash hit may I add. It’s a strong pop track that allows her powerhouse vocals to standout accompanied with infectious melodies. It one of the more pop defined tracks on the album and radio will eat it up when they get their hands on it.
4. “Why Try” – Any song that is produced by Ryan Tedder is pretty much deemed to be a hit and “Why Try” definitely has the potential to be added to that list. It’s an emotionally penned song that has been filled out with beats and the production is impressive. However it may have worked better if it was just a piano and her jaw dropping vocals. It grows on you with each listen and has become one of my favourites on this album.
5. “Break Free” featuring Zedd – It quickly topped the charts and is still in the top 20 clinging on for life. You can’t help but want to sing and dance along to this ultra pop mega hit even if it may be over played on the radio. Production wise this is very mediocre for what Zedd is known for except for the final 30 seconds where he really shines.
6. “Best Mistake” featuring Big Sean – This is where Ariana takes it back to the sound she cemented on her debut album. It’s a chilled RNB ballad that allows her to showcase her vocal range. I always loved this sound on her and was slightly disappointed when she started going in the ultra pop direction but I guess she’s re-inventing herself and doesn’t want to be pigeonholed. Her vocals delivery makes this song special and one of my favourites on this album.
7. “Be My Baby” featuring Cashmere Cat – Ariana has some strange collaborations and this is definitely one of them. Like how did this collaboration even come about? But that aside this song is a fun pop/dance track, it’s nothing special or different to anything she’s done before but it grows on you.
8. “Break Your Heart Right Back” featuring Childish Gambino – In the lead up to the release of “My Everything” this was probably one of the most talked about songs. Lyrically it’s about a boy that cheats on a girl with another guy. It samples Diana Ross’ gay anthem “I’m Coming Out” and offers a cheeky playful side of Ariana we haven’t quite seen yet in her music. She 99% believes this happened to her with a boy she dated but she laughs of the situation saying she was glad he cheated with another guy and not a girl.
9. “Love Me Harder” featuring The Weeknd – This is my favourite track on the album and is a smash hit waiting to be released to radio. The production, the vocals, the harmonies, the lyrics are all on point and makes this infectious dance track unforgettable.
10. “Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart” – Penned by Harry Styles this is a heartbreaking ballad that is simple but effective with the chorus bearing “Just a little bit of your heart. Just a little bit is all I’m asking for”. Ariana’s vocals are in their purist form on this track and captivates the story behind the lyrics well. This is the ultimate break up song of the album. But can you imagine if Ariana and Harry made this a duet, I’m already swooning at the thought.
11. “Hands On Me” featuring A$AP Ferg – I don’t know what went wrong with this song but the way I see it is that they tried so hard to be edgy and sexy but failed miserably. It’s cringe worthy with lyrics like “Picture me and you making, Making sweet love. Baby give it to me” and deserves the skip button.
12. “My Everything” – The third and final ballad on the album may see Ariana crying enough tears to see her own reflection but the song doesn’t have the same affect to listeners. It’s not as captivating as “Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart” and is a disappointing close to the album. The emotion is there in her vocal delivery but the build of the song fails to create a moment.
THE VERDICT: “My Everything” see’s Ariana Grande bearing all and giving show stopping moments but it’s a bit messy as it seems that she doesn’t know exactly who she is yet as an artist. She’s tried catering to everyone with genres and concepts being thrown around as much as the word “slay” or “yas” but isn’t being true to herself. I don’t think we truly know who Ariana wants to be as an artist yet but time will tell and at the moment she is killing it on the charts and radio.
MUST LISTEN: “One Last Time”, “Love Me Harder”, “Why Try”, “Best Mistake”, “Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart”