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Opinion: Ariana Grande's "Sweetener" Is Almost A Masterpiece


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"A less earworm but a great grower."

(one minute read)

The Manchester Arena Bombing has successfully shaken not just the public security against terrorism, but as well the artistic image of Ariana Grande. Ever since her musical debut back in 2013, Grande has been struggling to establish her figure as one of the new pop heirs. And in follow-up to her 2016's third full-length record, Dangerous Woman, Grande has distanced herself from the black & white persona, projecting a more uplifting side of her spectrum.

While Sweetener favored by critics, earning a staggering 81/100 Metacritic score, most people shared different insights towards the album. Even some noted that the production is messy, muddled and too tentative. And despite the obvious influences of the mainstream producers, Martin and Williams to named a few, the album is surprisingly contained a throwback and distant productions.

Sweetener is easily a less earworm but a great grower. The repetitive vocal backdrops instead of using the usual electro or instrumental synths are widely demonstrated in almost half of the record, take blazed, R.E.M, sweetener, successful and borderline as examples. This style is a smart tactic to keep the track sounds busy while retaining the intended impression. It is actually similar to the reggae and hip-hop structures that were widely used back in 2000's, and early 2010's.

Even the redundancy of the light is coming and no tears left to cry's lyrical contents still managed to stand out. It isn't the tracks mentioned don't have the "catchiness", but hearing their lyrics in repeat makes the listeners unconsciously remembering the song itself. A very common pop trick, and Cry About It Later by Katy Perry is one of the great examples. 

While having a featured artist is most album's big gun, that isn't the case with Sweetener. blazed and borderline somewhat have their own potentials, but came off lesser and considerately like fillers. The chill and laid-back production don't help either to make these tracks prominent. Moreover, 2018 wasn't really a good year for pure pop so there is no established sound or bars for Grande to begin with.

Conclusively, this is probably the album from Grande that I thoroughly enjoyed and genuinely listen regularly. And if I will rank each tracks, 1 being the song I enjoyed the most and 15 is the least. This will be the list:

1. no tears left to cry

2. everytime

3. R.E.M

4. successful

5. goodnight n' go

6. God is a woman

7. blazed

8. get well soon

9. pete davidson

10. the light is coming

11. sweetener

12. breathin'

13. raindrops (an angel cried)

14. borderline

15. better off

Sweetener: 7/10

These are just my thoughts, what about yours?

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Its a great album! My first listen to it though was like ":weirdmeout_umm_ok_what_weirded_britney:" then second, ":dontlike_chewing_gum_zoom_bomt_britney:", then ":duadance_lipa_new_rules_green_pink_dancing:" and finally ":groovin_dance_clap_alien_monster_party_costume_Halloween_spooky_scary:"

Its a grower basically, and i feel like i am the only one that actually loves the title track AKA Sweetener :embarrassed_britney_2007_red_hide_ashamed_cover:

Its her peak vocally-wise, and even got her a grammy for Best-Pop VOCAL Album and was pretty much deserving of it (as much as Thank U, Next was Grammys :lemmetellu_telling_preaching_yelling_talking_points_finger:)

Its basically a 7.6/10 for me since it has a TON of messy tracks. But i cant deny how the album gave us her best song to date "No Tears Left To Cry" and the cultural reset "Raindrops (An angel cried)" :praisega_gaga_amazing_brilliant_show_stopping_showstopping_sunglasses_incredible_yas_Yes:

Its her own healing album, like how Joanne was for Gaga. You either hate it, or love it.

Its anyways any better than "The Flopping Wonders of Vomittositions" :shameless_blush_blonde_hair_stroke_proud:

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Stream MATM (Desi Remix) For Clean Kidneys :duadance_lipa_new_rules_green_pink_dancing:

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1 hour ago, officialmaurice said:

You’re not alone. That’s my FAVORITE track on the album. Rarely is the title track actually GOOD so I was definitely surprised. 

I wouldn't go as far to say it was the best track on the album but I actually liked it for some reason :jj_janet_smirk_hehe_haha_lmao_lol_giggle:

Stream MATM (Desi Remix) For Clean Kidneys :duadance_lipa_new_rules_green_pink_dancing:

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18 hours ago, officialmaurice said:

lol I didn’t say it was the best either. 

Wait but....

18 hours ago, Blackout2006 said:

That’s my FAVORITE track on the album.

Nnnnn :umsaywhat_adele_hmm_umm_thinking_confused_unsure:

Or maybe u meant its one of your favorites, right?

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Stream MATM (Desi Remix) For Clean Kidneys :duadance_lipa_new_rules_green_pink_dancing:

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Honestly it's my least favorite album by her, although its highs are higher than the ones from Yours Truly and My Everything its low are really low, the album is also incohesive (one part is pop songs produced by max martin and the other is r&b songs produced by pharrell)

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