You’ve been waiting for it: Ariana Grande dropped sweetener — the musical
crystallization of her transition from pop star to human cloud. Let’s talk about it: Ariana dropped the notable lower case ‘no tears left to cry’ months ago as a paradigm-shifting big-business magnanimous bop of the ages. This we know. She continues boldly, imbuing her forward sensibility through vocal dominance: stripping the bass from her album allowing her once-in-a-generation vocal ability room to shine — herein we find the albums strengths and weaknesses. Our two favorite songs (excluding God Is A Woman and no tears — which we could write essays about) are “successful” and “breathe.” Ari lets us in on the pros and cons of being a petit baller. She’s hot; she comes out swinging with a big boss beauty baseball bat. “Successful” is so heart-warming and honest; an anthem, no doubt. “Breathe” motivates and we expect to hear it in soul cycle forever to come. Much of the album reflects on what it’s like to be at the peak of the game, rich, beautiful, coveted. Ari is feeling herself and so are we! Her album welcomes this fantastic wave of female empowerment across the board. Some of Sweetener’s songs leave a little to be desired when it comes to groove, as she leads with lyrics and emotion. Her causal and sensitive delivery give preference to the material content of the songs, leaving her pop star superpower to give her hype real backing. She doesn’t need the heavy bass to be a pop star. If anything, she’s utilizing perfect mid-highs and subtle-lows to distance herself from legions of up and coming artists who rely on a low-end bonus vibes to push their tracks though. Instead, Ariana floats like a soap bubble in a spotlight.
P.S. Stoked to see these music videos roll out.