Ariana Grande released her brand new album Dangerous Woman about a week ago & it’s worth a listen or two. After destroying the mainstream with her previous album My Everything, which is literally EVERYTHING, the ex-Disney star is back & ready to slay. *attempts a death drop & fails miserably*
One glance at the tracklist & Focus is nowhere to be seen, thank God herself. Although the song debuted at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, it was considered to be a flop & an obvious attempt to recreate her biggest hit Problem – read my review here – and so it only made the cut as a bonus track on the Japanese version of the album. Her management pulled a Rihanna & pushed it aside like some sort of Bitch Better Have My Money / FourFiveSeconds / American Oxygen release.
Now I can’t picture Ariana having a whole other album planned & later scrapped because of the public’s reaction to Focus, but chances are her team altered the album’s direction from sweet pink bubble-gum pop diva to subtle black & white laid-back Weeknd-ish jazz singer. That carefree vibe can easily be compared to the one grasped by Beyoncé’s two latest albums, BEYONCÉ & Lemonade, as well as Rihanna’s Anti.
As a result, we can agree on the release of Dangerous Woman (song) being an endeavour to balance out Focus’s over the top energy. With its slow & greyish tone, the title track is successfully rising up the charts ever since the album was released and has proven wrong my initial reaction of not giving it any credit as the lead single.
Moving on, Be Alright & I Don’t Care both stand out from the pack but in different ways. Although they both play the simpler & more easy-going tracks off the album, one is bubblier while the other is duller, but in a seductive & enchanting way that makes it downright great as opposed to the album’s weakest link.
Whether it was a group effort or Ariana’s decision, Moonlight & Thinking Bout You do a great job opening & closing the record and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Both dreamy & lustful, they serve as an introduction to the album’s whimsical feel & end the experience with a friendly reminder from our desperate fantasies. As a Lady Gaga-raised homosexual, I must say, Thinking Bout You reminds me of the way The Edge Of Glory closes the Born This Way album: fucking glorious.
& Since we’re being honest, Greedy might be the best song on the album & it would be a shame not to see it perform as a single.
As for the features, whether it’s Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne or Macy Gray & Future, all of them were truly well chosen. While some albums come off as overdone through their attempt to fill a noticeable void with countless features, every single one on Dangerous Woman earned its spot & commutes well with Ariana’s voice & style from track to track. & Although Nicki Minaj’s verse might not be her best, let alone the best on Ariana’s album, we can all agree that Wrist icicle – Ride dick, bicycle is the best combination of words on the whole thing. It’s no secret Ariana delivers much more intensity through her vocal ability than through her lyrics, the latter obviously being written with a marketed intention.
Last but not least, 15 tracks can be a dangerous move – no pun intended – but Dangerous Woman succeeds as a steady body of work, and filler tracks are not to be found. 8/10 darling!