“Sweetener” Album Review


Photo By: Emma Sheehan https://www.flickr.com/photos/esheehanphotos/33269922295

Tommy Lund, Reporter

Have you missed me…? Maybe you haven’t…but if you did, you’re in luck because I’m back and I have no tears left to cry. I tried my hand at giving brutally honest reviews of new and trending albums earlier this year. When I wrote my “Midnights” review, I never knew how much fun it would be. As of now, no significant new music has been released, but luckily there’s lots of good music to go around. I decided I would review one of my favorite albums of all time: “Sweetener” by Ariana Grande.

Track 1: raindrops (an angel cried)

An angel sure did cry. This song is so angelic, as it is literally just Queen Ari and her beautiful vocals filling up the room. It’s only 45 seconds, but it is one of the literal best openings to an iconic album like this one.


Track 2: blazed (feat. Pharell Williams)

This one misses the mark for me. It’s just the same thing over and over. I mean, it’s kind of catchy. Kinda. The bass guitar is fun, but it really doesn’t showcase Ari’s vocals until the end. Also, the addition of Pharell Williams is not needed because he literally adds nothing to the song. Overall, it gets an “ehh.”


Track 3: the light is coming (feat. Nikki Minaj)

The beat is out there, but it works. It’s exactly what I would imagine Ariana Grande “rapping” to be. Nikki’s verse serves nothing special but nonetheless serves. I like this song more than ‘blazed’ but it still just slightly misses the mark.


Track 4: R.E.M.

The harmonies GIVE so much and I love it. This is a simple song; not much is going on. But the lyrics flow so well with the simple beat combined with the layering of her vocals increasing throughout the song that it just makes you want more and more.


Track 5: God is a woman

Iconic. Possibly the album’s most popular song, and for good reason. On the outside, it’s just another pop song. Which, in a way, it is…but the difference is that the background vocals and pure talent in Ari’s voice push it into its own league. The end of this song is really where it’s at. I never fail to feel it in my soul as the vocals cut out to the most beautiful acoustic run known to man. I love this song and always will, and if you haven’t listened to it, you’re missing out.


Track 6: sweetener

BOP. The beat makes me physically sick, but like in the best way possible. Vocals are drawn out with sass and class, complimented by rhythmic serves. The only criticism it gets from me is that it’s the title track but, in my opinion, doesn’t represent the album as a whole. It definitely belongs on the album, but I think other tracks would better represent it as a whole.


Track 7: successful

Girl boss work anthem for real. I listen to this song when I do something good. It’s like a reward. The instruments used are definitely…a choice…but nonetheless, she pulls it off. Plus, the subtle xylophone throughout really tickles my brain.


As we approach the album’s halfway point, it’s a perfect time to get an opinion from a fellow Ari superfan. Junior Sarah Griffing answered some questions about Sweetener and its legendary status. When asked about the album, Griffing told us, “It’s one of the best albums I’ve ever listened to; the emotion that went into the production is unmatched.” I asked Sarah to compare Sweetener to other Ari albums, and this is what she had to say: “When you compare Sweetener to other Ari albums, such as Dangerous Woman, for example, it’s easy to see that Sweetener is more genuine and appeals to her emotions and pain.” “Dangerous Woman is still a great album, of course, but it is definitely directed towards topping charts rather than really being Ari’s best work.” Now, back to the review.


Track 8: everytime

Ari really foreshadowed “thank you, next” in this one. Imagine you’re in the back seat vibing in the traffic lights; that’s how this song feels. Nothing is super special, but like most Ari songs, the vocal layering and complementary notes make it a solid song.


Track 9: breathin

FLOW LIKE WATER. If you ever doubted Ariana Grande’s vocals, listen to this and try again. We start at a slow pace, but don’t worry, Ms. Grande picks up the vibes later on. The chorus just runs on in perfect rhythm, and it is just such a good song to vibe to.

Photo By: Emma Sheehan https://www.flickr.com/photos/esheehanphotos/33269921075/

Track 10: no tears left to cry

Ariana Grande personally came out of the recording studio and punched me in the face. She then exploded into a cloud of glitter. That’s it; that’s the review. For real though Ari was so mother on the beat it’s honestly sickening. 

Track 11: borderline (feat. Missy Elliot)

This is a great example of a feature adding depth to the song instead of bringing it down. The Missy and Ari combo is such an underrated powerhouse and should totally be utilized more. I’d love to see another collaboration from these two.

Track 12: better off

Slowing it down with a beautiful ballad before we’re launched into the final three tracks. This song shows a versatile side of Ari’s music. It really separates the album a little more and completes it as a whole. 


Track 13: goodnight n go

LOVE, I have literally nothing bad to say about this song. It’s a different sound than the rest of the album but is packed with so much complexity that it works. It’s a crime we never got a music video, because I know it would have been pure magic. This is not only one of my favorite songs on the album, but also one of my all-time favorites.

Track 14: pete davidson

Looking back on this song after Pete and Ari broke up makes me giggle. Not to mention it lacks a little bit of umph as it’s positioned in between two powerhouses. It’s also only a minute long which maybe is a good thing… 


Track 15: get well soon

I can’t say it enough how this song embodies the album in such a good way. It’s so simple, but so freaking good. I think it just gets forgotten about since it’s at the end, but to me, it rounds out one of the best albums ever in the best way.


And there it is: another album, another review. Of course, my opinion is unique to me, as Sweetener is one of my favorites. I encourage you to give it a listen if you have some spare time. I also encourage you to give me some suggestions for more albums to review in the future. For now, I’ll say goodnight n go.