‘My Everything’ by Ariana Grande

By on August 30, 2014

Okay, if you have not heard of Ariana Grande, then you need to fix that right now. Disregard the fact that she played a ditzy character on Nickeloden and instead focus your attention to her voice, because you will not be disappointed. She has been called the new Mariah Carey, but she has not reached the level of window cracking diva-ness – yet.

While her 2013 debut album Yours Truly may have been a little juvenile, with gems like “Honeymoon Avenue” and “The Way,” she showed that she had powerhouse vocals and proved that she was one to watch. It was obvious she had it in her to have a hit record; it was just a matter of when. With her second album, My Everything, she makes another stride towards that inevitable ultimate record, at the same time stepping out of the safe confines of the tween world and into young womanhood with a confident, fairly solid and cohesive album.

Gone is the “I don’t want to offend anybody, so I’m gonna keep it kid friendly” shtick, which is replaced with “I know I’m cute, but I’m not gonna show you too much – yet.” The album opens with an 80 second intro where Grande shows off her voice and basically says “just in case you forgot, this is what I can do.”

She asserts her growing independence most on the EDM track “Break Free,” produced and featuring German DJ ZEDD, belting “This is the part where I break free/ cause I can’t resist it no more.” The lyrics apply to many things in her life: coming into young womanhood, leaving Nickeloden behind — it definitely shows where she is in her life now.

“Love Me Harder,” featuring The Weeknd, and “Hands On Me,” featuring A$AP Ferg teeter on the edge of sexual without getting too raunchy. “Keep your hands on me/ don’t take them off until I say so,” she says.

“Why Try” and “Love Me Harder” are the strongest moment on the album. Ariana and The Weeknd are an unlikely pair, but their voices sound so perfect together. It needs to be a single. “Why Try” gives us My Everything’s Whitney moment. “You drive me insane/now we’re screaming just to see who’s louder,” she says. It’s one of few moments on the album where you can really feel her emotion. It perfectly accentuates her vocals and is truly a standout.

My Everything is a huge step forward for Grande. She can make even the weakest songs still sound good just because she is singing it. She has amazing vocal control for her age which means it can only get better. One of the only problems with these songs is some of the lyrical content and that most of the songs do not explode. They build and build and then end. The only real exception being “Why Try” and “Love Me Harder.” She has the capability to make us really feel something with her voice as she does on “Why Try” and “Love Me Harder” she just needs to pair her voice with the right lyrics. On her next effort she needs to focus on the ballads, where she truly shines, and give us that “wow” moment. But in the meantime, My Everything is not a bad way to spend the time until we get that.

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