written by: Carla Bynum
Grande introduces us to her sophomore album on the “Intro” with an instrumental that she briefly interrupts with a few words to her lover:
I’ll give you all I have
And nothing less, I promise
Love me and don’t look back
I want you with me on this road to the sky
We’ll be shining every night I promise you
Just Me and You
Oh, I promise you
In another song that strays from Grande’s usual style, she admits to her own shortcomings in her relationship and just wants to be the one to take him home “One Last Time.”
“Why Try” is a song about a whirlwind relationship that has Grande and her lover living like angels and devils. One minute they’re in love, the next he’s trying to break her down. So why try? Because she loves the pain and can’t imagine living without it or him.
Russian-German producer Zedd lends a hand on the second single “Break Free.” The song first premiered on July 2 and features a style that we aren’t used to hearing from the pint-sized songstress. With Zedd’s help, she branches out with this song that explores the electro-pop genre and she does it quite well. The song has peaked at number four on the charts and became Grande’s fourth top 10 hit in the United States. The song has an empowering message about breaking free and being yourself.
While rumors continue to surface questioning Grande’s relationship with Detroit rapper Big Sean, the two decided to team up again for the breathy and sensual track “Best Mistake.” She sings about a lover who she considers the best mistake she ever made. We don’t know if the dating rumors are true, but these two make great music together. Grande has called this her favorite song yet.
Grande tells her guy what he needs to do in order to drive her crazy on the track “Be My Baby.” The song is produced by Norwegian musician Cashmere Cat.
“Break Your Heart Right Back” is a song about a girl blinded by what she thought was love. She should’ve seen certain things coming but she chose to ignore them. Now that she can see more clearly, she just wants to break his heart like he broke hers and what comes around goes around. We all know that. The song features rapper Childish Gambino and contains elements from Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” and “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by the Notorious B.I.G.
Canadian singer The Weeknd joins Grande for the album’s sole duet “Love Me Harder.” Grande lets you know if you want to keep her, you have to love her harder while The Weeknd sings about taking the pain along with the pleasure.
by the rules nor does she want anyone to control her. Instead, she wants everyone to walk a mile in her shoes because until then, we don’t know her.
Overall, it was nice to see Ariana Grande step outside of her comfort zone and explore different musical styles and content. While this album may not be as sweet as her debut album, it does showcase Grande’s growth as a musician.
Recommended Tracks: “Best Mistake,” “Be My Baby,” “Why Try,” “Break Your Heart Right Back,” “My Everything”