Ariana Grande – My Everything

December 26, 2014 at 5:50 PM | Posted in Ariana Grande | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Ariana Grande – My Everything

1. Intro
2. Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea)
3. One Last Time
4. Why Try
5. Break Free (feat. Zedd)
6. Best Mistake (feat. Big Sean)
7. Be My Baby (feat. Cashmere Cat)
8. Break Your Heart Right Back (feat. Childish Gambino)
9. Love Me Harder (feat. The Weeknd)
10. Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart
11. Hands On Me (feat. A$AP Ferg)
12. My Everything

♦ ♦ ♦

My Everything is the second studio album by American singer Ariana Grande, released on August 22, 2014. The album peaked at #1 in six countries and has sold 169,000 copies in the US in its first week.

Intro is just as it sounds: a lovely opening track with soft music and Ariana’s light and angelic vocals in harmony. I don’t really know why it’s here, but oh well. Its light sound makes that Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea) has even more impact, like BOOM there it is. Ari’s huge voice and that inescapable horn riff make this song, and it’s undoutedly one of the best and catchiest songs of 2014. Iggy Azalea contributed wonderfully to it, gurl power.

The synth line and looming percussion opening One Last Time instantly shows the new road Ariana has taken with this album: more EDM and electropop. Still this song is more on the lighter side of that genre, not too in your face but pleasant to the ears. I really like Ari’s breathy vocals here, especially in the verses. I had to get used to this, but now I love it.

It’s clear from the sound of Why Try that Ryan Tedder contributed to it, and it’s one of the songs of the album I remember best. It’s like Ari’s own ‘Halo’ song, a midtempo percussion and strings driven song that makes her voice shine like never before. As the song progresses it gets stronger and stronger and you can almost feel Ariana’s anxiety, such an amazing performance!

Another great single (and one that was released on my birthday!) is Break Free (feat. Zedd). Over the summer this has been one of everyone’s absolute favorites, and I was one of those people who couldn’t help themselves and had to sing along to it everywhere they went. Zedd is the king of EDM and this laser themed club banger is probably among his best work.

Just like on her previous album, Ariana worked with her boyfriend Big Sean. Best Mistake is the first song to bring a different sound to the album since it’s a minimal hip-hop piano ballad and ofcourse it’s a genre Ariana handles very well. I just don’t know about Big Sean, but apparently I’m not the only one who thinks he may not fit the overall minimal sound of the track (critics also feel that way). Other than that, a welcome variation.

Ariana never fails to bring on that 90s Mariah Carey vibe and Be My Baby (feat. Cashmere Cat) is another perfect example of that. It’s a nice song that adds a touch of R&B to the album as a whole, but just like some of Mariah’s songs it sounds a little too empty and generic for me to fully enjoy it, although it has its moments.

A lot of featured artists here. Still the little misstep of the previous track makes Break Your Heart Right Back (feat. Childish Gambino) shine even more, and that suprised feeling becomes even stronger when I hear Diana Ross’ ‘I’m Coming Out’ sampled in the chorus! I love the funky sound and even Childish Gambino is not superfluous.

The third single off the album is the catchy hit Love Me Harder (feat. The Weeknd) with great vocals by both Ari and Abel Tesfaye. I love how this is a darker 80s synthpop track that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from someone like Ariana and she still can make it work so well. It’s not too complicated a song, but definitely one of late 2014’s gems.

For all the Directioners out there: yay, a song co-written by Harry Styles (not too exited about that myself but oh well). Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart is actually the first real ballad on the album without any beats or interruption from a featured artist, so there is plenty enough room for Ariana to take the stage. It’s just a lovely track that can have the tendency to emotionally grab you, but it got me only 99% of the way.

Hands On Me (feat. A$AP Ferg) brings out Ariana’s inner Rihanna and it totally makes clear her Nickelodeon days are over for good. This track had me surprised like never before and I am completely struck by how much I love the mature and sexy hip-hop sound. I don’t know who A$AP is but this song would’ve been less kickass without him. I love it!

Closing the album, there is the title track My Everything, a short and sweet piano ballad carried by Ariana’s powerful yet light vocals. By the times she reaches the chorus there are goosebumps all over my body and I can’t shake how gorgeous this track is in all its minimalism. Sometimes I think this would’ve been better as the opening track instead of that intro, but at least it gives the album a close with dignity.

When I first heard the album I thought it was lacking so much and I was like “WHY didn’t she stick to the sound of ‘Yours Truly’??” But then I remembered I didn’t take the time then to really listen to the album, so I sat down again and this time I really gave in to everything. My final conclusion? This album is actually better than ‘Yours Truly’ in its own way and it’s also one of the most enjoyable albums of 2014! Ariana has joined forces with some major names here and it couldn’t have worked out better for her. Girl, you’re gonna be a huge star, if you aren’t one already.

Favorite tracks: Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea) | One Last Time | Why Try | Break Free (feat. Zedd) | Break Your Heart Right Back (feat. Childish Gambino) | Love Me Harder (feat. The Weeknd) | Hands On Me (feat. A$AP Ferg) | My Everything

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarhalfstar
4½ stars

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