Ariana, the most beloved pop artist and possibly current artists of today, has knocked Travis Scott off his throne. “Sweetener”, the powerful, pro-woman, and tell-all album currently stands in the number one spot on the Billboard 200.
Grande has taken substancial strides this year alone, but her career started off quite young. Known early on for being the quirky yet loveable character of Cat Valentine on the hit Nickelodeon show “Victorious”, but despite her being an actress since 2008, it wasn’t until 2011 that viewers first heard her boisterous voice. Since then, Grande has released four studio albums, taken on outstanding roles, like Penny Pingleton in Hairspray Live!, headlined four tours, made countless appearances, organized the “One Love Manchester” benefit, and is newly engaged with comedian/SNL star Pete Davidson.
This year, Ariana has achieved much of her growth, taking on the strength of a literal goddess to overcome tragedy, scrutiny, and heartbreak all at the tender age of 25.
In the midst of Ariana’s maturing and mastering her young life, she has announced an engagement that many are solely fixated. Although it may feel like a pop-up engagement to fiance Pete Davidson, in reality, the birth of “Sweetener” is empowering women and fans in general worldwide.
The album steers away from her pop super hits and reins into a more intimate and soulful side. She says this album “feels more like my DNA” when talking to Ebro during an interview on Beats1; Ariana then thanking her devoted fans for being open to new music and arrangements that differ from what they have been accustomed to. While her voice is more reserved it is clear that this time around she has gained more control and admits that vocal arrangements are her very favorite thing to work on in the studio.
On “Sweetener”, Ariana’s voice is crisp and her lyrics are meaningful while the music is substantially more uplifting; thanks to Pharell Williams who lent his expertise in at least seven of the fifteen records. Ariana mixes tackeling huge topics like self-care, body positivity, and womanhood with sensual harmonies and relatable lyrics that wrap around listens like a safety blanket.
The album is full of surprises filled with messages that unveil Ariana’s true self; her warm wispy voice on songs like “Breathin” and “Get Well Soon” encourage being in tune with one’s self and pushing through the hardest of times. She expresses her intoxicating love for her fiance by giving a nod to English singer/songwriter Imogen Heap while remixing “Goodnight and Go” and writes a sweet one minute long love letter titled “Pete Davidson”.
This album certainly sets her apart from her past and opens up her fan base to people who may have never given the pop artists a chance. Ariana has truly expanded for the better and lent a hand in providing a more loving and accepting community. She has been strong in her personal battles and been an symbol of hope for the many who were harmed physically and mentally during her Manchester show. Be sure to become captivated by this intimate piece of work and check out her heartfelt tribute to the late Aretha Franklin with The Roots below.