Ariana Grande is back with another stellar album.
The former Nickelodeon favourite has spent the majority of her five year music career shedding her child star image and attempting to find her own unique sound among her peers. With Sweetener, it feels like she’s finally there.
As she blends party anthems with smooth mid-tempos and some genuinely heartbreaking retrospectives of the tragic bombing that took place at her concert in Manchester last year, Ariana sounds more sure of herself –and her incredible voice – than ever.
While everyone has their own opinions (and we’re certainly not suggesting ours is definitive), we’ve ranked every song on the album following many, many listens since its release last week.
15. pete davidson
It won’t make it onto our playlists, but it’s hard not to fall for this airy, penultimate interlude – which is dedicated to fiancé Pete Davidson – when Ariana firmly declares that she’s “gonna be happy”. We hope she is, because she truly deserves it.
14. raindrops (an angel cried)
There’s not too much to say about raindrops, but it’s a cute intro and gives Ariana a chance to show off those vocal runs that we love so much. It’s not enough to replace Dangerous Woman’s Moonlight as our favourite Ari album opener, though.
The contrast between sugary-sweet verses and hip-hop chorus is jarring, but we can still hit it, flip it, twist it and mix to it.
When we heard Ariana and Missy Elliott were collaborating, we expected slightly more than a 17-second feature, but it’s always exciting to see two icons together on the same track. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for something more in the future.
“It feels so good to be so young and have this fun and be successful,” Ariana boasts over this quirky-sounding ode to powerful women like herself. There’s plenty of lyrical inspiration for your next Instagram selfie here.
10. get well soon
As far as album closers go, it’s not exactly ‘going out with a bang’, but the sentiment behind get well soon makes up for the slightly uneventful production. “Is there anybody else whose mind does this?” she questions, before reminding listeners to take care of their mental health. It’s Ariana at her most vulnerable and honest, in a way we haven’t seen in her music before.
Pharrell’s production on sweetener has received a mixed reaction: Critics love it, while fans seem to prefer her Max Martin-produced bops. But there’s no denying the charm of blazed, a funky, spring-in-your-step love song that sees the pop star gush over her fiancé.
8. better off
The majority of Sweetener focuses on her new love Pete, but better off appears to be Ariana’s way of closing the lid on her former relationship with Mac Miller, which she’s described as “toxic” in the past. Ariana recently revealed that the song almost didn’t make the cut, but we’re glad it did, as it’s gorgeous.
7. the light is coming
While it may not have the immediate bop o’clock impact of previous collaborations Bang Bang, Get On Your Knees and Side To Side, the light is coming is a definite grower, and we’ll take any chance to see our favourite celeb BFFs team up yet again. Oh, and Ariana’s sing-rapping? EVERYTHING.
Ever have a relationship that you know is bad for you, but you just can’t help coming back for more? That’s Ariana on everytime, a lush, trap-light mid-tempo that’s bound to get you feeling nostalgic for all those bad boys you’ve dated (or wish you had).
5. goodnight n go
Ariana puts her own unique spin on Imogen Heap’s single Goodnight And Go – which she recently called one of her “favourite songs of all time” – for this chilled, hip-hop-meets-EDM slow burner that flits between mid-tempo and ballad. It’s one of the best album tracks of her career so far.
R.E.M was lauded by Ariana herself as one of the best tracks from the album in the run-up to its release, and we can’t disagree. It’s a dreamy R&B love song that fits the theme of the album perfectly. Fun fact: This is actually a reworking of an unreleased Beyoncé track called Wake Up, which recently surfaced online in full. We’re waiting for the inevitable mash-up.
3. no tears left to cry
By the time no tears left to cry rolls around two-thirds into the album, it’s clear why this was made the lead single. With a number of irresistible hooks and UK garage-influenced production from Max Martin and Ilya, the track sees Ariana address the tragedy that took place at her Manchester concert last year by looking forward to a more positive future.
2. God is a woman
God really IS a woman, and her name is Ariana Grande. Watch the stunning music video if you’re not convinced yet. Trust us.
It only took one listen for us to place this at the top of our list, and it seems the majority of her fans agree. Take the best parts of Into You and Touch It and mix it with some heartbreaking lyrics about living with anxiety, and you’ve got the absolute magic that is breathin. If this isn’t given the single treatment, we’re handing in our stan card.