Ariana Grande - Sweetener | Album Review

In August of 2018, Ariana Grande released her fourth studio album called 'Sweetener' through Republic Records. This album is a follow-up album from her 2016 studio album 'Dangerous Woman'.

The sweetener has many special guests throughout the album from Pharrell Williams (who was featured on a song but also had high involvement in the production of this album) to Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott.

Sweetener is a Pop, R&B and Trap record with smash hits 'No Tears Left To Cry', 'The Light Is Coming (feat. Nicki Minaj)' and 'God Is A Woman'.

The album debuted at Number 1 on the US Billboard 200 with 231,000 album-equivalent units, of which 127,000 were pure album sales. This is Ariana's third studio album to debut at the top of the charts. 6 of the 15 songs from the album debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the same week: 'Breathin' at Number 22, 'Sweetener' at Number 55, 'Every time' at Number 62, 'R.E.M' at Number 72, 'Goodnight N Go' at Number 87 and 'Pete Davidson' at Number 99.

Sweetener also debuted at Number 1 on the UK Albums chart, moving 45,000 album-equivalent units. It became her second number-one album in the UK and the fastest to date.

Overall, the album has been a huge success worldwide.

For me, this is the first full Ariana Grande album I have listened to. I knew of her before and I had obviously heard some of her previous work (mainly the singles from each album) but I am so glad I decided to buy and listen to this album. While listening to this album and taking in all the beats and lyrics, I can tell this is a very personal album for Ariana.

'No Tears Left To Cry' was the first single released from this album. It has a very deep meaning and reflects Ariana's feelings regarding the unfortunate event that happened during her concert at Manchester Arena. I do think this song was a good first single for the album. I really like how Ariana took a horrible experience and made it into an upbeat song. It feels like she took a bad experience and made it into a fun song instead of the typical ballads you would expect. When I first heard the song and heard it was about the Manchester attack, I did expect a ballad and the first 22 seconds sounds like the start of a ballad but when the beat kicked in and the song became upbeat, I was kind of glad.                  

'The Light Is Coming' was the next single to come from this album. It was a promotional single featuring Nicki Minaj. I personally love the song and I think it is one of my favourites from the album. I feel like it is very different from the rest of the album and it is also a song that you grow to love. Nicki Minaj fits very well onto the song too - queen of rap. 'The Light Is Coming' is one of the songs I can imagine dancing too in a club. The only thing I don't really like about the song is it doesn't show Ariana's vocal capability too much but the creativity of the song shines through.

Her latest single from the album is 'God Is A Woman' - amazing single. Very empowering for her female fans and all of her fans in general. The music video is amazing also. Visualising some historical moments and showing girl power. I love it when an artist takes a song and makes a very visually appealing video - some artists don't. Sometimes artists bring out songs that I can picture a visually appealing music video that would fit the song, instead, they bring out a video that doesn't really correlate with the song too much.

My favourites from this album are 'Blazed' (feat. Pharrell Williams), 'The Light Is Coming' (feat. Nicki Minaj), 'R.E.M', 'God Is A Woman', 'Successful', 'Borderline' (feat Missy Elliott) and 'Get Well Soon'.

Other songs on the album include a 38-second introduction to the album with 'Raindrops (An Angel Cried)' which Ariana revealed the song covers Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' 'An Angel Cried'. 'Sweetener', 'Every time', 'Breathin', 'No Tears Left To Cry', 'Better Off', 'Goodnight N Go' and 'Pete Davidson'.

With the album being named after a song from her album, I expected the song 'Sweetener' to be the best song from the album. I was disappointed. I like the song but I don't love it. The lyrics sound like you're baking a cake - which I guess, with the name 'Sweetener', Ariana is wanting to think that but listen to the lyrics more closely, no cakes were made, maybe a baby or two?

Overall, I think it is a very personal, creative and empowering album. Usually, there is a 'fourth album curse' where the fourth studio album of an artist doesn't typically do too well but I think Ariana has crushed that curse with her high charting worldwide.

Overall Rating:
★★★★☆

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