It’s kind of about bringing light to a situation or to someone’s life or somebody else who brings light to your life or, sweetening the situation.
Ariana said describing Sweetener on Tonight With Jimmy Fallon.
It really is joyous, carefree and radiant. We finally got to see a coloured album art which breaks off the habitual aesthetics of black & white from Ariana’s previous album. Ariana is known for her signature bops and Sweetener does not disappoint.
It was much hyped before the album release that the album will make you ugly cry. After the Manchester tragedy that Grande went through, it all seemed relevant. Speculations started about getting upbeat, motivational tracks that would pay homage to the Manchester victims. But turns out, it didn’t happen. Yes, we got “no tears left to cry” which is an upbeat and optimistic track. Also, Ariana included 40 seconds of silence for the victims on the outro. But this is not the point.
After three solid albums, (let’s not say people) at least I was looking forward towards the more artistic growth of Ariana. Yes, the music is great and all but cohesively it is a disappointment. Sweetener has lovey-dovey music where Ari mostly sings about sex and trying to please her man which gets boring. There is a lot of experiment with the music. The best songs are memorable and amazing but the others just fall flat. Being a fan of Ariana ever since her debut, it just pains me that it could have been better but just didn’t.
“Dangerous Woman” music video perfectly sums up Sweetener. You can imagine Ariana wearing a lingerie in a smouldering scenario, carelessly singing the songs and making sexy moves. And that’s what it is.
I only liked a few tracks on first listen but gradually it is growing on me. Without further ado, here is the review.
Best of Sweetener:
“God is a Woman” was the first release from the album which I really loved. It is vivid, unique and an absolute jam. She really did a great job here. Sweetener barely features Ariana’s signature high notes and powerful vocals. But in GIAW, Ariana truly slays her vocal game. Lyrics define the pleasures of sex and the track encourages the message of female sexual liberation and domination. The music video was also wonderful and imaginative. “Breathin” is incredible and dominating. The song is motivational giving a message about anxiety. With a catchy groove and danceable beat, it is impossible not to move to the beat in some way. “Raindrops” is the intro “mini” track with serves some serious vocals. It is a powerful ballad but lasts less than a minute. I’m yearning for more of it. I was doubtful about putting “Get Well Soon” here but ended up including. It features incredible vocals but somehow the music does not compliment. But the chorus is irresistible. “no tears left to cry” is fun and upbeat. The production picks up well in this banger.
Worst of Sweetener:
I can say without a doubt that everyone agrees about what a mess “the light is coming” actually is. It is weakest Nickiana collab to date. The vocals sound fairly bad when paired with the beat. It has a good beat and the possibility to work well, but instead it gets boring and is overall fairly mediocre at best. Pharrell William has greatly been criticised for his production on the album. And I couldn’t agree more. The production is blunt. And “Blazed” is an example. It just gets boring here. “successful” did not grab me. There is a lack of polish here. “everytime” and “borderline” have a strange mixture of sounds and sound like rip-offs from her previous records.
“R.E.M” and “goodnight n go” have lyrics that aren’t really sensational, but aren’t as bland or gaudy as the rest of mainstream pop songs. They just seem well-crafted. The tune and music in “pete davidson” is so alluring but unfortunately it is not more than one minute and thirteen seconds long. It seems to sample “Loveless” by Lorde. “better off” changes the pace somehow. It is harmonious and plays well with the flow. “sweetener” is weird but in a good way.