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“Sweetener”: A sweet addition to Ariana Grande’s repertoire

Savannah Pinnock, Opinion Editor

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Ariana Grande is by far one of the most talented singers of today. In fact, she possesses a four octave vocal range which is quite impressive.

In comparison to some of the greats such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston who possess a five octave range, Ariana Grande is just an octave below which speaks to how talented she is. Ariana’s music is primarily centered around the feeling of love and romance.

She also provides her fans with tracks that are meticulously crafted with the intention of inspiring her listeners and motivating them to “keep breathin’”. The 25-year-old, Italian-American singer and actress is by far one of my favorite artists. Her Sweetener album is a testament to how talented and driven she is.

Within her fifteen track Sweetener album, Ariana provides her fanbase with messages that promote female empowerment, speak to the sublimity of love, and translate the non-verbal language of romantic emotions into lyrics that are uncannily accurate. Today we’re going to take a look at a few of her songs. In Sweetener’s first track entitled Raindrops (an angel cried), one is introduced to an artistic expression of what it feels like when a romantic interest walks out of your life.

The piece emphasizes Grande’s vocal abilities due it’s utilization of acapella. It’s a short, sweet, and angelic piece, no pun intended. Her second track entitled Blazed featuring the multitalented artist Pharrell Williams can be described as a feel good song.

Upon listening to this piece, I noticed that it bore similarities with the musical aesthetics of Marvin Gaye with the infusion of 21st century, mainstream pop. The piece is quite soulful and easy on the ears.

On her next track entitled The Light is Coming, Grande features the talented, self named,  Queen of Hip Hop Nicki Minaj. As I began to listen to this track,  I couldn’t help but notice that Ariana utilized an early thousands Missy Elliot-esque musicality met with a Gwen Stefani-like sound. It was like a blast from the past in an exhilarating way.

I found Ariana’s voice smooth and crystal clear; it felt like a musical ASMR. The general tone of this piece is one of positivity as Ariana reminds us that “the light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole”. The piece also bears a striking resemblance to the early thousands aesthetic found within Cassie’s music.

Later within her song R.E.M, one is bombarded with the phenomenon of having someone take the words out of your mouth. Ariana beautifully describes the mentality of a girl when she has a crush on someone.

She exposes how unreal your crush seems and how surreal everything feels in the moment. It is such a cute piece and bears similarities with the musical style of Kali Uchis. However, Ariana’s piece God is a Woman left me speechless, it shook the ground underneath my feet and the glass above my head.

The piece is unequivocally sensual and possesses sexual undertones. It opens up a dialogue about female sexuality and seems to work at eliminating the taboo stigma attached to it. It is a revolutionary piece that forms a crack in the glass ceiling of music. It is a sneak peak into the mystery of women and refreshing in light of the rampant and normalized misogyny in the music industry. And of course, it sounds amazing. It’s a nice rainy day song.

Her next track, Sweetener which also happens to be the name of her album is definitely sweet and a bit suggestive. In this piece, it seems as if Ariana seeks to celebrate relationships and intimacy.

Later her song Breathin’ also peaks my interest as the very fabric of the song is coated in a signature Ariana Grande style. It’s very motivational and a great song to drive to.

Last but not least, I find Grande’s No Tears Left to Cry sensational; I constantly listen to this track, it’s definitely one of my favorites. Much like Breathin’ it is very motivational.

It is also symbolic to the “rainbow after the rain” concept. Her next song, Borderline, immediately reminds me of House music. Again it has an early thousands Amerie and Cassie vibe. There is also a slight Latin component which is very cool.

Ariana Grande’s Sweetener leaves me wanting more. It’s a great addition to your morning commute, work out session, and your life in general. So feel free to go ahead and listen to her latest album, it will definitely sweeten your day.

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Savannah Pinnock, Opinion Editor

Savannah is a junior English major with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies.

In the Fall of 2017, Savannah started her experience with The Beacon...

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“Sweetener”: A sweet addition to Ariana Grande’s repertoire