She's already been a featured artist on The B-Side and in the three months since I've talked about her, Ariana Grande has blown up. Grande's album Yours Truly debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and number one on iTunes.
Yours Truly + Republic Records + August 30, 2013 + Pop & R&B
Let's get to the songs that I did love.
1) "Honeymoon Avenue" - Probably my favorite song on the album. Great track to begin the album with as well. The string instrumentals in the beginning get me every time. The Rascals' harmonies blend nicely with the instrumentals and Ariana's vocals are the cherry on top. The R&B influenced song is different in melody than the rest of the tracks on the album. You get a sense of what you're in-store for after this track plays. (And can I also say, her band sounds awesome in live versions of this song)
2) "Baby I" - I'm brought back to "Oops!...I Did It Again" with the "yeah yeah yeah's" that are heard throughout the first two verses. You can't help but bump your head to this. This song was the second lead single from the album and I will say this track is similar in style to her first single "The Way". This is easily seen during live performances where she mashed up the two. Still, the pop songstress manages to put the icing on the cake to this upbeat song by dazzling listeners with her whistle register.
3) "Right There"- She keeps us bumpin' with another R&B influenced track. The catchy harmonies of the hook again can bring us again full circle to "The Way". "You got it, you got it babe" | "I love the way you make me feel"...It's so hard not to sing the lyric to one song without being caught singing the different lyrics of another to the same tune! (That little hook also samples a song title "Rain Dance" by The Jeff Lorber Fusion) While I'm personally not a fan of Big Sean he gives the song radio appeal and without his verse one can only wonder what repetitive melodies would fill the space. That being said--lets not get it twisted--it's another solid track. I never skip it when my music is on shuffle.
I'm soon pulled back in with "Daydreamin'" (track 7). I wasn't crazy about this song for the first couple of listens. But I can now say that this song is another one of my favorites. While the verses are simply sung, once she hits us with the chorus I'm transported again to 1954. The piano chords heard throughout the song is one of my favorite parts of the song. It's something about the simplicity of it. The ending with the love-story telling, "I think when I was standing on that stoop and I looked at him", over top of the vinyl crackle was a great way to end the song. I think it would of been great to end the album with this song, actually.
"The Way" (track 8) - Another Mariah song. It's the perfect blend of 90s R&B with pop. I think Mac Miller's verse is spot on and definitely helps the song. The popularity of the song could have to do with samples by Big Pun's "Still Not a Player". Yup, that's why it sounds so familiar. I do think this was the perfect song to serve as the debut single for her album. It's nostalgic, it's fun, it's catchy and if you're not hooked by this point in the album, then go home!
10) "Almost Is Never Enough"- I can't get enough of the song. While I was listening to this with someone, I was asked if the song was old. That made me smile a bit. I cannot express how much I love the 90s influence. And Nathan Skye's vocals blend with Ariana's for a lovely duet.
She gives her all on every track. I also think Ariana deserves praise for writing 6 out of the 13 tracks on her debut album.There's no doubt that she's not talented or can't sing.I think this is a solid album from Ariana Grande and I see bigger things in her future. Hopefully there will be growth with the next album. There is a reason why her album went #1. Ariana Grande is insanely talented and the album is a throwback worth all your time.
So there's my bit. It's just my opinion, not the law.