‘Sweetener’ album review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Ariana Grande was at the top of her game after the release of her previous album Dangerous Woman in 2016. However, tragedy struck during the tour of that album: The now infamous Manchester Arena bombing. A total of 23 people—including some of Grande’s fans and the bomber—passed away in the bombing, a horrific event for a concert or any occasion. Grande and Manchester began to recover after the bombing and when she held a benefit concert to raise money for everyone who was affected by it, she showed that the show must go on—an idea she shows again in her next album Sweetener.
The record begins with “Raindrops (An Angel Cried)”, which is a cover of “An Angel Cried” written by Bob Gaudio and references the bombing. Grande says the line “An angel cried,” which potentially references the singer herself.
Next, the album goes into “Blazed,” which also has Pharrell Williams in it. Because he produced the song, it has everything that you would expect in a Pharrell Williams song. A very catchy track is “The Light is Coming” because the beats in it are similar to the beats in the Lady Gaga song “Love Game.” The music video of this song looks like a commercial for Reebok.
My favourite track on the album is “God Is a Woman” because it showcases Grande’s vocal talents. I was as mesmerized by it at first as her soon-to-be husband, Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, was when he heard it. The music video of the song is the most avant-garde music video that she’s made. It includes a random scene with a screaming beaver, which I found very funny.
The first hit single from the album, “No Tears Left to Cry”, is not a very sad song and it can be listened to again and again. Missy Elliott is heard in “Borderline”, and in “Pete Davidson”, Grande sings a love letter to her fiancé Davidson and it is a simple message of “I love you.”
The album ends with “Get Well Soon” where she tells everyone who was affected by the bombing that they will recover and in the next few years, they will get to the top. We hear silence for a few seconds to remember the people who passed away in the bombing and then the album ends.
Sweetener sounds like an album that Pharrell Williams would make because he produced most of the songs in it, although he is not one of the executive producers of the album. Some of the songs on it were short but they were so good that I wish they could have been made longer by putting another verse or more music in.
While Sweetener is a great album, it is not in my opinion Grande’s best album. It has everything that you’d want in an Ariana Grande album mixed with the iconic sound of Pharrell Williams. Still, maybe it will win an award in the Grammy Awards next year.