So...I slept on the Sweetener album and for that I am deeply ashamed.
I’ll admit, I’ve been sleeping on Ariana Grande since about 2014 when My Everything dropped. Coming off the back of “Yours, Truly”, Victorious and hell, even her “Put Your Hearts Up”/”Popular Song” pop princess era, I was expecting her to give me baby Mariah vibes. I expected R&B, and what I got was Iggy and Nicki features and a song with Zedd. I was bored. I placed her in the box with the rest of the ex Nickelodeon/Disney stars who disappointed me in the past with their musical choices (i.e. Cyrus, Lovato, Hudgens). I ignored Grande’s music like you would people in the airport until I was late night listening to Earl Sweatshirt’s “Earl Sweatshirt Stays Inside” and heard my muse say “Sweetener is that shit...just overall fire.”
I can’t help it. I made a hipster mistake that I NEVER make. I waited until my fav, Solange, cosigned an album before I listened. It wasn’t on purpose. It just sparked the fuse. “Wait...Solange likes Sweetener? Like really? Let me see what this is about.” It was a rookie mistake, and to Ariana I apologize: I slept on that album girl, and I should have been wide tf awake.
Let me take a step back: it wasn’t like I didn’t hear anything from the album before my official listen. I gave God is A Woman a chance, because of the title. And when I heard it was like ok...this is cute. Not cute enough for me purchase the full album, but cute enough for me to seductively lip-sync it at the function when I’ve had a couple of rum punches. I didn’t even know until I actually played the album that I had been JAMMING “No Tears Left to Cry” for months, and that was all Grande. I played myself. I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for letting a whole month and some change go by before hitting play.
Fast forward to my first initial reactions: Ariana who do you think you are dropping this beautiful ass self care album into my life in 2018? Girl how did you get Pharrell and Missy on this album?! I can always do without a Nicki verse at this point, but this was cute. COME ON VOCALS! I hear the r&b, the gospel, the pop and the twinge of trap, I’m here for it. Wow...to end an album like this? SIS. Ok, I’m officially a MochaGrande. Where do I buy my ponytail from?
I stan. I stan this album as one of the best of 2018. Its rare these days that you find a mainstream album that you don’t have to skip through, and Sweetener is one of those that fit the bill. It’s packed full of honest, relatable mantras for anyone who’s ever had to deal with heartbreak, situationships, breakdowns in mental health, and still found the light at the end of the tunnel. Even more so, people who are still dealing with those things and the light feels too far away to see. This is an honest album, and I live for it. Honestly, I’ll probably buy it on vinyl so I can blast “Get Well” while I affirm myself in the mirror on my worst days. Thank you Ari, I promise to stay woke on you forever girl (just dont’ go back to the EDM). If “Thank you, Next” is any indication of what's to come from her, I’ll be a MochaGrande for life.
Tracks to Add to Your SelfCare Playlists: The Light Is Coming, Sweetener, Successful, No Tears Left to Cry, Breathin, Better Off, Get Well Soon
Tracks to Add to Your “Girl’s Night”/’I’m Feeling Myself” Playlists: God is A Woman, Borderline, Successful