Last Friday it was finally time for the album release of Sweetener, the long expected album by Ariana Grande. I was so excited, so the first thing when I woke up was, listening to the album. I made myself some breakfast and sat down to take it all in. I had really high hopes for Sweetener. One, because it’s Ariana Grande and two, because I absolutely loved No Tears Left To Cry and God Is A Woman. I’m not gonna lie though, I didn’t like The Light Is Coming, and I still don’t, but I was hoping that was just a one-off.
The album starts out with a beautiful acapella intro called raindrops (an angel cried). This is actually a mini cover from a snippet of an old 50’s song. The coincidence being that Ariana found out – after recording it – that it was written by her grandfathers best friend, whom she grew up with. How funny is that? Like it was meant to be.
After that, the album really starts and I would overall describe it as a dreamy, R&B album with an old school feel in a modern jacket. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that is the feeling I get of off this album. I love that a lot of it is produced by Pharell Williams. You can really notice his influence throughout the whole album. Especially on the song blazed, in which he actually sings as well.
My favourite song has to be breathin. Ariana wrote this song at a time she felt really anxious and when she literally felt like she couldn’t breathe. This song was born from that and I love it. Dealing with anxiety myself it is nice to know that I am not the only one and that even people like Ariana Grande can suffer from it. I think it is great that artists like her – and recently also Shawn Mendes with In My Blood – kind of break the taboo by talking about this and even making songs about it.
Another interesting song on this album is the last one: get well soon. This song was written with the horrible Manchester attack in mind, and is about being there for each other and – again – about anxiety and mental health. I think this is a very special song and when talking about this in an interview Ariana actually broke out in tears. That shows how meaningful this song is for her. She describes it as a musical hug to her fans and I think that is so beautiful. It also has a hidden meaning. The song is 5.22 minutes long, but the last 40 seconds of the song are actually just silent. The Manchester attack took place on the 22 of May, so this is a little tribute to the victims of the attack. I think that is such a beautiful and subtle way to give tribute. I also just really love the lyrics of this one. She sings: Unfollow fear and just say, “You are blocked”. How powerful is that!
This album is not just heavy stuff, it has a lot of fun, happy songs on it. My favourite being the title song: sweetener. I mean, that is just such a bop. The chorus is a bit odd, but I love it so much. I just have to move whenever this song comes on. It also really embodies what this album is about. ‘Sweetening’ life up. I think it’s great.
There’s so much more to say about this album and all of these songs, but I think this post is already long enough. I think it’s a better idea if you just listen to the album if you haven’t already!