By Madiha Yameen
“I want it to sound like an evolution. I want to explore more sounds and experiment a little bit. I have a bunch of ideas I’m very excited about and a lot of stuff cooking.”My Everything was released worldwide on August 25, 2014. It’s the second full-length by American artist Ariana Grande. Work on the album began in October 2013 one month after the release of Grande’s debut album Yours Truly and finished in late May 2014. About the cover Ariana says “each song is so strongly themed that I just wanted to have a very simple overall cover. So that within each song we could create more visual themes.
Problem feat. Iggy Azalea first premiered at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards and released it for digital download later that night on April 28, 2014. The song debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold 438,000 units in its first week making it the fourth largest debut by a woman in history. This double platinum track is written by Iggy Azalea, Max Martin and Grande herself. The track has highly synthesized tune with subtle vocals-changing-hands, Mariah Carey/Beyonce-lite histrionics within her huge, Azalea-embellished hit single Problem promises more like it.
One Last Time (released on August 22, 2014), written by David Guetta and Carl Anthony Falk, this song showcases Grande’s developed since Yours Truly. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions with hook as guilty as sin and the chorus with a sense of hope in front of pummeling drums and a three-note synth line.
Why Try is co-written and co-produced by (my favourite) One Republic’s Ryan Tedder. It is constructed as Grande’s “Halo,” an unabashed diva moment that bowls over the listener with vocal power and mid-tempo emotion. Hoped for more than we got as Benny Blanco and Tedder were the mastermind behind it – it would have been better if Ariana had let him to their own devices. “Na-na-na-na” hooks at the end.
Break Free feat. Zedd released as second single on July 2, 2014, when Ariana first unveiled this song there was uproar amongst some of her fans that she was trading in her R&B sound for an easy chart hit. Whereas the Iggy Azalea/Big Sean/Max Martin collaboration was a kitchen-sink amalgamation of various talents, “Break Free” possesses a laser focus, with Zedd’s outlandish electronica serving as an icy platform for Grande’s towering hook and forced rhymes. An underrated, enthralling dance single. I liked it.
Best Mistake feat. Big Sean (released on August 12, 2014) is, let me disclose, one of the three ballads of Me. He raps “You ask why I love your mum so much, ‘cause she’s an older you.” Take you back to YT – but this one surely sounds grown-up.
Be My Baby feat. Cashmere Cat, Ari is full on trying to copy Mariah here, no hiding the truth. Not a chart-topper and a slight mix of denunciating vocals and music.
No why does Break Your Heart Right Back feat. Childish Gambino sounds a little bit better? Because of the relative blunder of a song Be My Baby. Childish Gambino is nothing if not childish “my nickname school lunch.” Talking about cheating BF. The usual mix. Nothing great here. Skip on!
Now if you have listened to “What You Need” by The Weeknd and “Baby I” by Ari – you’ll know that the difference is more than the distance between North and South Pole. But as duet partners on the springy “Love Me Harder,” the pairing somehow makes sense. A track that slots neatly under the label of ‘midtempo R&B banger’, X-rated, this track is and if you still love the cute crooning Cat from Victorious, move on!
This lovely love ballad co-written by Harry styles Just a Little Bit of Your Heart, I was expecting some highly emotional “Don’t Let Me Go” verses and extremely pained vocals, but this one does not rise above being average. The final chorus contains some spectacularly high notes, at least. As far as piano ballads go, it’s packed with the usual heartfelt lyrics (“I know I’m not your only, but at least I’m one”) and a cooing choir for the finale, but truth be told it’s easily forgotten compared to the strength of the rest of the material here.
Piece of trash – Ari suddenly realizes she’s an ‘adult’. In Hands on Me feat. A$AP Ferg – Ari insists weird nothings over hectic hip-hop beats. A$AP Ferg is a ‘welcome’ addition to the song, his frantic rap style playfully bouncing off Ariana’s twerkable verses. Yours Truly ended with a-failed-attempt-to-dance-track “Better Left Unsaid,” My Everything concludes the standard edition of the album on a somber note. She talks about being confused in love and regrets the break-up “He wasn’t My Everything ‘til we were nothing,” she sings. It’s better than the other two ballads at least.
Look, I know you guys must be hating me right now but let me tell you, I have got nothing against sweet little Ariana Grande just that why on earth does she drown her killer-voice in the loud-loud dancy music? Well that’s all my opinion only!