Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman

Posted July 5, 2016 by in Pop



2.5/ 5


Genre: ,
Producer: , , , , , ,
Genre: Pop, dance, synthpop, R&B
Producer: Ariana Grande, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Tommy Brown, Ilya, Johan Carlsson, Twice as Nice, Steven Franks, Peter Svensson, Billboard
Label: Republic
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 39:31
Release Date: 20 May 2016
Spin This: "Into You," "Be Alright"


Few genre and style shifts proves Grande is looking to expand her musical reach. "Into You" stands out as best track


Major setback compared to My Everything; the songs just don't ring with extraordinary pop fever like that album. Lack of "danger" as hinted in the album title

Pop-Tart diva-in-the-making vocalist stumbles slightly on My Everything follow-up

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Pop-Tart diva-in-the-making vocalist stumbles slightly on My Everything follow-up

arianagrande-03 My Everything, Ariana Grande’s sophomore album, proved to be a glorious testament of pop vocal mastery and smart song selection, and stands out as being far superior than her debut LP on every level. Each motion seemed to chronicle lessons taken from the old school Clive Davis workbook on how to establish a pop star diva. So it’s not that much of a surprise to know that Dangerous Woman, an album that sports Grande wearing latex bunny ears as if she’s prepping for the role of Catwoman, is an artistic let down.

It’s not like this album doesn’t try. Grande attempts to find new musical outlets to explore, possibly weary of being pigeonholed into teen bop compilations, synthpop ditties and the Christina Aguilera/Mariah Carey contemporary R&B formula. The finger-snapping, harp-tinseling love ballad “Moonlight” drops her on bed petals of into Minnie Riperton romance. She pulls off her naughtiest striptease on “Thinking About You” (“Have my eyes rolling back and the arch in my back”). “Leave Me Alone” finds a haunting intro featuring Macy Gray channeling Nina Simone emotion. She jumps out of her style comfort zone a little with the reggae-tinged, rock-embellished title track. Reggae is enforced even more on “Side to Side,” where Grande is forced to play with throwback Rihanna grooves. She even brings in “Bang Bang” star Nicki Minaj for more funk and street cred.

Her Mariah Carey-esque vocalizing is still a pleasant eartease, and she lays down near-perfect executions catering to sexy girl pop, but the cuts that should have soared – mostly dominated by the presence of Max Martin – only straddles below the radar. “Be Alright, produced by Twice As Nice and Tommy Brown, drips with old school house, but the fun, rhythmic mood evaporates too many times as the its goes back and forth from its torso-moving chorus to its instrument-voided verses. “Greedy” sounds like faux disco.  The Max Martin gem “Into You” is a little better. It sports more electro magic and aggressive hooks, complimentary to her strong radio-ready regimen. But even the big name guests (Lil Wayne, Future) or the jazzy bonus track (“Jason’s Song (Gave It Away)”) on this time around can’t camouflage the album’s lackadaisical performance. The songs simply lack memorable melodic polish, especially the trite second half, and just doesn’t tickle the ear like most of the standouts on My Everything. Yes, some tracks like “Touch It” and “Into You” will find success due to Grande’s social media domination, but the record will show that Grande needs to rediscover the formula that made her famous and stop treading in the path of gimmick sex just to get a desperate boner. Yes, her sexy looks are a part of the marketing, but there’s actually a sizable vocal talent underneath all that beauty. Plus, we all know Lil Wayne has produced heftier lines than this: “Oh Lord, she grinding on this Grande, oh Lord/I’m drowning, I’m gonna need that coast guard.”

And there’s also the lack of danger and dark side imagery that Grande fails to drop on us with this quasi-Sasha Fierce alter-ego. Dangerous Woman just feels like a safe, but very lackluster of a follow-up to the hit-loaded My Everything, which is pretty unfortunate.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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