ARTIST OF THE MONTH: ARIANA GRANDE
Released on May 20th,016, was Ariana Grande's third studio album called "Dangerous Woman." This was the follow-up to "My Everything," which transformed her from Nickelodeon actress to chart-topping international superstar. She shifted from the low-slung groove to electro-pop on this album and is a little bit of everything. The album was co-produced by hitmaker Max Martin, the mastermind behind everything from The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” to Taylor Swift’s ”Blank Space."
The lead single, the swaying, low-key title track "Dangerous Woman," taunts and tantalizes with its enticing beat before exploding into a blaring chorus full of horns synths that give it an extremely catchy hook. The incredible, abrasive electronic energy of "Into You" is never really matched as the chorus stays stuck in your head. The album’s strongest cut comes in with "Everyday," featuring Future, with its trap beats in the verses and dubstep-lite refrains in the chorus giving the song a powerful first impression, which could have ruined the flow of the song.
The album also packs some one-off styles that expand the album's stylistic scope. "Side to Side," featuring a collaboration with rapper Nicki Minaj, features a swaggering reggae beat that stands out on the album. On the other end of the spectrum, "Greedy" is a joyous, upbeat disco track that features many prominent bass and stabbing strings, offering a nice throwback moment. The opening track "Moonlight" and closing track "Thinking Bout You" cover different ends of the same spectrum: "Moonlight" is a slow, romantic love ballad that relies on sweeping strings to set the mood of the track, while "Thinking Bout You" uses ambient, airy strings to create a minimal track coated in reverb, with its twinkling chorus being one of the album’s best moments.
She even ended up calling her album "Dangerous Woman" because it represents more accurately where she was in your life at the time. Just like every album, not all the tracks were standouts, but the album as a whole really shows the progression with Grande’s music. "Dangerous Woman" has more hits and less filler than she’s ever managed to fit onto one album. It may not be a total reinvention for her in style or sound, but it does focus more on what made her so enjoyable in the past.