Ariana Grande just landed her first #1 on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with her new single thank u, next. She’s released an album, dropped visuals as well as a fiancé, and changed up her hair (which is quite significant considering she’s known for her high ponytail). She’s popping right now and that is why she’s this week’s artist in the spotlight for Music Monday.
Ariana Grande has spent her share time in the headlines this past year with her sudden engagement to comedian Pete Davison, the tragic death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, and the break-up that subsequently followed with Davidson. She recently released the single, thank u, next, and it has everyone talking, including me. I believe this song marks a new chapter in Grande’s life, but I’d like to take a look back at her career because I’ve been following her since her debut album, and she has plenty of other amazing songs in her catalogue.
With only five years in the game Grande has proven to be a break out star and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. She’s released 4 studio albums within that time, all of which have topped the Billboard 200.
Her debut album, Yours Truly, came out in 2013 and debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 200. My top two songs from this album are The Way and Almost Is Never Enough.
The Way was the first single released from the album. It features late rapper, Mac Miller. I remember exactly where I was when this song came out. I was in the 8th grade and my class was outside doing an assignment when one of my friend’s handed me her phone and asked me if I’d heard the song. I immediately asked if it was Mariah Carey and was shocked to find out it wasn’t once I watched the video. This single most definitely catapulted her career.
Almost Is Never Enough is a completely overlooked and AMAZING ballad. It features English singer Nathan Sykes. The song is simple yet sleek with their raw vocals and piano carrying the song. The lyrics speak for themselves, expressing the regret of two lovers who were almost together but weren’t. It’s relatable and sung beautifully.
Honorable Mentions from Yours Truly include the entire album because I really enjoyed it! I have to highlight Better Left Unsaid, Tattooed Heart, Baby I, and Right There featuring Big Sean.
Grande’s second studio album, My Everything was released in 2014 and debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. I must admit I didn’t listen to this album when it came out. She went more pop on this one and I wasn’t really into that genre at the time. However, after going back and listening to it, I can say Best Mistake featuring Big Sean is the Ariana Grande I know and LOVE.
Honorable Mentions include Love Me Harder and One Last Time.
Dangerous Woman is the third studio album and was released in 2016. It debuted at number 2 on the billboard coming in second to Drake’s Views. The album reminded me a lot of Yours Truly which I loved. The opening track, Moonlight, has a very similar sound to Tattooed Heart.
The title track Dangerous Woman gives me a neo noir femme fetal feel. It has a seductive but sneaky vibe to it. The lyrics “something bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman… something bout you makes me want to do thing that I shouldn’t” can express the inciting attractiveness of being with something who really is no good for you.
Into You is really just another pop love song but whenever I listen to it I imagine being in a skating rink bopping my head along and dancing. It’s a good vibe.
Let Me Love You featuring Lil Wayne is a more slow pace sultry track. It’s cute and I like it.
Leave Me Lonely featuring Macy Gray is an entire bop and like Dangerous Woman, I also get neo noir vibes from it. I feel like it could be the sequel to the track Dangerous Woman. She got involved with this man who she knew was bad for her but now she’s just only realizing it and must let him go.
Honorable Mentions include Be Alright, Greedy, and Thinking Bout You.
Sweetener, released earlier this year, deserves its own spotlight but I’ll try and make this short.
God is a Woman is an entire bop. Its basically about sex but you can’t deny it’s a good song.
Everytime and Breathin were my absolute favorites from this album! Everytime is about going back to someone over and over again when you know they’re no good for you and Breathin relates to Grande’s struggle with anxiety.
No Tears Left to Cry had to grow on me. At first I didn’t really care for it but it quickly became one of my favorites.
Honorable Mentions include The Light is Coming, Better Off, and Goodnight Go.
Ariana Grande is a force to be reckon with. Her vocals are amazing and she’s becoming a favorite of mines. I am genuinely excited to see what she’s going to do next in her career.
Do you have any favorite Ariana Grande songs? What’s your favorite pop song?