Over the course of four years, Ariana Grande has released three albums that each time have shown who she is as an artist. No, she’s not everybody’s cup of tea and no she didn’t stick to one full owned sound. But from her soul-inspired debut to a melting pot of sounds in sophomore album, My Everything, Grande has matured greatly with her third album Dangerous Woman.
Standout tracks such as ‘Leave Me Lonely’ featuring the soulful, Billie Holiday-esque voice of Macy Gray, delves into lyricism focusing on an unhealthy relationship. She even comes to question her love insanity with lyrics
“Is it love when so easily said goodbye? Is it love when we’ve given up before we tried? Is it love when you stole my peace of mind? Is it love when you cry, cry and cry?”
This is followed up by a haunting bridge ala Macy Gray:
“Dangerous love. You’re no good for me, darling. Yeah, you turn me away. Like I’m begging for a dollar. Danger, oh, how you hold me I get a chill inside. And nothing frightens me, baby”.
Disco inspired track ‘Into You’ gives a futuristic hint of a summer hit waiting to happen and while it’s fairly reminiscent of past dance tracks such as ‘Break Free’, this song has it’s own tempo, it’s own style and it’s own piece of lyrical ownership. “The temperature is rising”, especially on this track. ‘Greedy’ is absolutely divine funk-driven perfection and those brass instruments give the song an added boost of life – tied in together with a soulful Ariana; pure pop extravaganza it is!
Other key features, Nicki Minaj (‘Side To Side’), Lil Wayne (‘Let Me Love You’) & Future (‘Everyday’), build onto Grande’s album with surefire bringing a side of reggae, trip-hop, and downtempo R&B.
The album is constructed as a combination of her soulful debut roots and the uptempo jazzy features on her sophomore effort, as well as continuing on the dance-pop ingredients featured in her past discography. Overall, it’s safe to say Grande has matured through lyricism and it’s evidently showcased carefully throughout the album.
When her fourth album comes to light, we might not only see more growth and maturity – but hopefully as always, a record filled with more surprises and more genre appreciation which she (Ariana Grande) has successfully done so far.