Ariana Grande – Yours Truly

September 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Posted in Ariana Grande | 1 Comment

Ariana Grande – Yours Truly

1. Honeymoon Avenue
2. Baby I
3. Right There (feat. Big Sean)
4. Tattooed Heart
5. Lovin’ It
6. Piano
7. Daydreamin’
8. The Way (feat. Mac Miller)
9. You’ll Never Know
10. Almost Is Never Enough (feat. Nathan Sykes)
11. Popular Song (feat. MIKA)
12. Better Left Unsaid

♦ ♦ ♦

Yours Truly is the debut album by American singer Ariana Grande, released on August 30 2013. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 138,000 copies sold and debuted in the top ten in several other countries, including Australia, the UK and Ireland.

The album opens with a ballad, and although I find that tricky most of the time, Honeymoon Avenue captures my attention enough. It opens with a lot of strings and Ariana’s Mariah Carey-esque adlibs before moving into a very attractive R&B style of music. It’s a long track, but Ariana’s vocals are the highlight that keeps everything flowing right. I especially love the prechorus of the song, but the entire song is a big recommendation to everyone who needs to get acquainted with her music yet.

I always thought Baby I is amazing because of its throwback to 90s R&B while still sounding very modern, probably because of Babyface’s involvement in the production. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album and one of the songs with a more fierce attitude. Still it has a very breezy sound, almost like a summer song. This song perfectly explores Ari’s amazing vocals and her ability to sing in the whistle register. Amazing song ❤

Right There (feat. Big Sean) is a midtempo R&B song with some hiphop elements, especially because of Big Sean’s raps (don’t know who this guy is tbh, I know him as Naya Rivera’s bf). It could’ve been a generic R&B song if it wasn’t for Ari’s ability to spice up a song with her vocal acrobatics and Big Sean’s great rap vocals. Luckily, it’s everything a song in this genre needs to be. Not the best, not the worst.

One of the songs that has stayed with me most is Tattooed Heart, a song in triple time that reminds me a bit of 1960s music as featured in musicals like Hairspray and such. The song is filled with strings and piano music, underlined by a soft and smooth beat. I really liked the deeper and bolder side of Ari’s vocals in this song with less use of the head voice. It’s short compared to the previous tracks, but it’s so sweet it’s bound to stay in your head for the rest of the day.

Lovin’ It brings back the R&B/Hiphop style that Right There and Baby I had, but in a more uptempo fashion. Of all the songs up until now, this one seems inspired by Mariah Carey’s music the most because of not only the musical ambience, but it’s clear that Ari draws her vocal inspiration from MC as well. It’s just a sweet and smooth song, and also the shortest on the album, but it’s very enjoyable.

Keeping up the uptempo quality of this section of the album, Piano sounds exactly like its title. It’s filled with piano chords, but the handclaps, synths and beat make it very happy and it could almost be a party song in some way. It’s one of the catchiest songs on this album with very appealing and lovely lyrical content. The chorus is repeated very often in the end, but that’s not a bad thing in this case. Just go with the flow with this one.

Daydreamin’ is the sister song to Tattooed Heart because both have that retro triple time piano ballad quality with a rather bouncy feel. It’s a sweet song and although there’s another song sounding a bit like it, it has its own unique sound. I love it when Ari sings with herself in harmony near the end of the song and the background vocals are crazy high. Her voice is amazing in this track, seriously.

Ah, the single that skyrocketed her career. The Way (feat. Mac Miller) features a bouncy piano riff and throwback R&B beats to make it another great retro/modern combination. Mac Miller and Ariana are both feeling this song, but Ari’s amazingly airy yet full vocals are as always the center piece of the song. This is such a soulful and mature song for Ari, I totally love it.

Although You’ll Never Know isn’t a very generic song, somehow I totally forgot all about it until I heard it again. It has a very appealing R&B sound with perfect beats and blazing synths, and Ari’s vocals are top notch, but I guess a lot of the previous songs outperform this one. Still it instantly displays Ariana’s musical style, so I wouldn’t dismiss this song right away.

The second long song on this album besides Honeymoon Avenue is Almost Is Never Enough featuring The Wanted member Nathan Sykes. The song is an emotional piano ballad about a love that almost was, and Ari has found her vocal match in Nathan since they both have amazing vocals. They sound perfect together and both deliver the right amount of emotion to the song. Despite the sad lyrics, this song is pure musical magic.

WOW, I love this next song. Popular Song (feat. MIKA) is the perfect song for those who are being bullied or used to be to finally stand up and feel good about themselves. This is such a catchy and playful song that gives you an amazing kick, and Ari and MIKA are another great vocal match on this album. This song is more like MIKA than Ari and it doesn’t quite fit the rest of the album, but that doesn’t matter because this song KICKS ASS OKAY.

Better Left Unsaid closes the album with a lot of energy and a musical sound that can’t be found anywhere else on the album. The verses are very toned down, then the tension builds and the chorus goes full blown with a lot of beats and synths. Like a real club banger, if you please. Not the most memorable song on the album, but it’s a nice song if you’d like to hear something different from Ari.

I was very curious about Ariana Grande’s debut when it was first announced, like, a century ago. Then finally, after a lot of pushbacks and changes, Yours Truly was released, and I fell even deeper in love with this girl than I already was. Who doesn’t love Ariana as Cat in Victorious and Sam & Cat?! Well, that cute girl can’t be found on this album since this is the mature Ari we’re talking about. She is compared to Mariah Carey a LOT, and although that’s a huge compliment, I think an even bigger compliment is to state that ARI HAS ARRIVED. Ladies and gentlemen, behold: a star is born.

Favorite songs: Honeymoon Avenue | Baby I | Tattooed Heart | Daydreamin’ | The Way (feat. Mac Miller) | Almost Is Never Enough (feat. Nathan Sykes) | Popular Song (feat. MIKA)

4½ stars

1 Comment »

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  1. So I’ve been hearing sooo much of Ariana Grande, lately. I just had to see what the big deal is! After listening to “Tattooed Heart” I can understand why people like her. Her vocals were pretty good, too! If people ever want to go back in time and hear some 50s/60s music, listen to Ariana!

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