By now we all know who Ariana Grande is, she took a little longer to pop over here in the UK, but with the astronomical success of her lead single- Problem, she’s set to continue her reign of the world by winning over us Brits. Her debut received wide critical acclaim, and with her sophomore she’s managed to reel in some real talent including rap spots from Childish Gambino and A$AP Ferg, as well as production credits from Zedd, Ryan Tedder and Nile Rogers.
Listening to My Everything I found myself thinking ‘well what is there not to like?’ Ariana Grande has such a likeable air about her music, mainly because she’s one hell of a vocalist, but the production is not as straight forward as you’d imagine. Take Break Your Heart Right Back for example, it’s ultimately a rap beat- very minimalist and with clicks/claps that is perfectly suiting to someone like Childish Gambino who features. However, somehow Ariana makes it hers with symphonic vocalisations and beautiful choruses of harmonisations.
As you might expect from an artist such as her, My Everything is never, or at least very rarely, cheesy, overproduced or particularly predictable. The duet with The Weeknd- Love Me Harder, may flirt with the idea what with the dramatic key-change, but it still makes for one of the highlights, after all, who doesn’t love a bit of cheese every now and again. A further highlight is Only 1, soulful, almost jazzy, production is tailored to her and really is a match made in heaven when she commits to the distinctive R&B sound, I’m just amazed it’s only available on the deluxe version of My Everything.
Ariana Grande’s sophomore album is a gem. Hipster bloggers and cynical critics won’t really rave about My Everything because of her image and target market, but take it from me, My Everything is really good. The best example of why it’s good is the finale- My Everything, as the title track, and as the final track on the LP, what with that voice of hers, I was expecting a gust-busting key change and dramatic crescendo of drums and a choir to come in and help Ariana create a song that would make Simon Cowell blush. But no, it’s measured and notably restrained, Ariana Grande is a real talent and her sophomore album My Everything, shows that she’s way more than just a pretty face.