Graphic by Marissa Arnold
Although she is known for her soaring, soulful vocals, Ariana Grande moves away from this vocal style in her new album “Sweetener.”
She replaces her typical vocal style with breathy and somewhat clipped vocals, which can be found throughout the album, most notably in the songs “The Light is Coming (feat. Nicki Minaj)” and “Sweetener.”
“The Light is Coming (feat. Nicki Minaj)” is the song that best represents Grande’s new style, as it features rap and fast-paced vocals, repetitive lyrics, and distorted voices in the background. However, these traits make the song extremely annoying to listen to.
“Sweetener” mixes breathy, drawn out vocals and quick, clipped choruses, both of which are common elements of the new style presented in the album.
There were two songs on the album that stood out, and they are arguably some of the best songs on the album.
“Breathin” has a hopeful and inspiring feel, which it achieves because of its vulnerable, heart-felt lyrics and strong, beautiful vocals.
“No Tears Left to Cry” combines a fast synth beat, soulful vocals, and upbeat lyrics to create a song that is equal parts catchy and inspiring.
“Successful” starts out well, with pretty vocals and a fun, bouncy beat, but the same choruses are repeated over and over with little to no variety, causing the song to feel like it drags on. Also, the lyrics consist entirely of Grande bragging about her success, making it all the more annoying.
In “Borderline (feat. Missy Elliot),” there is little variation between the chorus and other parts of the song and the same beat is repeated throughout, which makes it feel dull.
Overall, “Sweetener” is a decent album with some great songs, but it does not represent the scope of Grande’s talent and for that reason it is somewhat disappointing.