Ariana Grande’s ‘My Everything’: Track-By-Track Review
Last week we bopped along for a sneaky advance listen to Ariana Grande’s new album My Everything; the record set to cement the former Sam & Cat star’s status as one of the biggest popstars of the year.
After making a solid start with the very good Yours Truly in 2013, Grande has enjoyed a major global breakthrough in recent months thanks to that inescapable Iggy Azalea collab ‘Problem’, which fired to No1 on iTunes in countless countries and really set the precedent for what’s to come.
So, does the album meet the hype? Let’s pick it apart, track-by-track…
Ariana kicks things off in quite restrained, chilled-out fashion; cooing her way through some nice, gentle harmonies reminiscent of the general vibe of Yours Truly. Don’t get too relaxed, though…
2. ‘Problem’ featuring Iggy Azalea
This doesn’t really need explaining, does it? The worldwide smash hit may have been a tad overplayed on commercial radio over the last few months but there’s still no denying its power as a real pop ‘moment’.
3. ‘One Last Time’
This track’s great: slightly less ‘kitchen sink’ than your average dance-pop banger, with a glorious pulsating chorus that gets better and better every time.
4. ‘Why Try’
All you essentially need to know is that Ryan Tedder co-wrote it. What. A. Song. Definitely a standout.
5. ‘Break Free’ featuring Zedd
The most club-ready dance track on the collection, this single continues to prove itself as a discofabulous grower. Hooking Grande up with someone like Zedd seemed like an odd move at first, but the pair work together brilliantly.
6. ‘Best Mistake’ featuring Big Sean
The pace changes from here: ‘Best Mistake’ returns Ariana to her R’n’B roots with a track that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Kelly Rowland’s under-rated last album.
7. ‘Be My Baby’ featuring Cashmere Cat
Sadly not a cover of the Ronettes’ classic, but great all the same. Rihanna wouldn’t sneer at this glitzy gem, but she’d definitely struggle to keep up with the mighty fine cross-octave ad-libbing towards the end.
8. ‘Break Your Heart Right Back’ featuring Childish Gambino
Ariana had promised that a song on the album would sample a classic gay anthem, and she wasn’t lying: Diana Ross’s ‘I’m Coming Out’ is given a mini-revival on this track, which really suits the softer side of Ariana’s Mariah-esque voice. Could have a been a great KISS-friendly summer anthem if serviced as a single.
9. ‘Love Me Harder’ (with The Weeknd)
This track’s brilliant. A pulsating slice of electropop with a stunning double chorus, it might just be the standout song of the whole collection.
10. ‘A Little Bit Of Your Heart’
Yep, this is the one penned by a certain Harry Styles. It’s a pretty song: an epic piano-driven ballad that could make a convincing X Factor winners’ single. It’s a definite change of pace from the rest of the collection, but fans of Ariana and 1D will be more than satisfied.
11. ‘Hands On Me’ featuring A$AP Ferg
Mid-late 00s Britney Spears would have been proud to put her name to this. A proper, dirty late-night urban-ish electrobanger, it sounds just a tad out of place when sandwiched between two restrained ballads – but is still a great tune.
12. ‘My Everything’
Ah yes, the obligatory downtempo closer. ‘My Everything’ is a little more restrained than ‘A Little Bit Of Your Heart’ and that remarkable voice of hers is in pristine form. The harmony-laden finale is beautiful.
And to conclude
Those overseeing Project Grande clearly mean business. The best songwriters, producers and guest rappers of the moment have been drafted in for My Everything, and it’s all paid off: the record is a remarkably strong effort with plenty of single choices and a real stamp of star power from the lady at the front of it all. Collaborations may be littered all over the place but she’s unmistakably the centre of attention: her diction is sometimes a little hard to decipher but the voice easily conquers any subgenre she tries her hand at, and if the objective here is to position her as a world-class popstar then it’s mission accomplished. It’s a big thumbs up from us.