I really considered not to write this album review because I really don’t like Ariana’s new album. As an Arianator, I was so disappointed. I don’t want to write something negative about Ariana, I still love her and her old music, but Sweetener is just not doing its job for me. As a music blogger, I have to be honest with you and with my opinion on today’s pop music. I can only say that this album is her worst album so far. I adored all of her former albums even her Christmas EPs but this album is just a disaster.
Now you probably disagree with me and think that I’m ignoring the great singles and just being unfair to her. The thing is that “no tears left to cry”, “God is a woman” and “breathin” are really good songs and yes, I love them, they are my anthems. But the entire album counts 15 tracks and it can’t be that I personally hardly only like 5 of them. This cannot be but it’s the case. All the other tracks are rubbish for me, I wouldn’t listen to them again or on repeat. I mean Ariana’s last album “Dangerous Woman” was a masterpiece I loved almost every track, “My Everything” and “Yours Truly” were also so much better than “Sweetener”. I can understand that she is the it-girl of pop music but this isn’t a permission to release such a bad album fulfilled with fillers and only some great songs. And no Ariana these songs don’t save the album at all. I don’t and won’t buy it. If you’re an Arianator and if you’re here since her debut album you must understand me, mentioning again, this is her worst album so far.
The album starts with an acapella intro called “raindrops (an angel cried)”, which is a kind of cover of the song “An Angel Cried” by the band The Four Seasons. Yes, I love her vocals but the first track only lasts almost for 40 seconds, this is too short, yes it’s an intro track but come on. We all know how good Ariana can sing, she can sing like an angel. Just remember the acapella video of “Dangerous Woman” some years ago. I can’t count this track as a song, cause it’s not.
Further, Pharrell Williams just destroyed the album with his song productions. “blazed”, “R.E.M.”, “sweetener”, “successful”, “borderline” and “get well soon” all the arrangements of these songs are treated like experimental animals. How could Ariana and her team trust Pharrell so much to let him produce the half of the album? Pharrell loves experimenting and trying out new elements in beats but not every song he produces ends up like “Havana” by Camila Cabello.
The song “the light is coming”, which he co-wrote with Ariana and Nicki Minaj is the only one I could like, and for this one, I really had to force myself to do so. I like the positive message that the light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole. But as a Nicki Minaj feature it’s just too weak. They released so many chart-topping singles together before. This one definitely cannot top “Side to Side” or “Bed”. I wish “Bed” were written for her album and not for Nicki’s. Maybe I would have liked the song more when Nicki didn’t only sing the intro but also if she sang or rapped during the bridge. And her rap part in the intro is not even something original or memorable. This promotional single was a big disappointment just like the music video. I still streamed it just because I’m a fan and I love Ariana and Nicki.
Other songs of the album were co-written by other musicians and Ariana. For example, “better off”, it’s just a song about her ex-boyfriend Mc Miller. She is emotional and honest in the lyrics but the production of the song is weak, it doesn’t even achieve to be emotional enough to move me to tears. She cannot deliver the emotions she was feeling. The song “pete davidson” is cute and romantic, written about her ex-fiancé, but come on couldn’t you write an entire song for your fiancé Ariana? This one-minute track is just something to be ashamed of to have put it in an album. Another one is “goodnight n go” which samples the original song by Imogen Heap – “Goodnight and Go”. Also “R.E.M.” is actually a remix of the song “Wake Up” by Beyoncé. This album includes too many covers and samples, it definitely lacks originality.
Now I’ll mention a fact that has really shocked me. Did you know that the single “God is a woman” was actually written for Camila Cabello? The demo of this track belongs to her. There is a ten-second version online of the demo. And believe Camila’s vocals sound much better than Ariana’s. I cannot understand why Camila didn’t keep the track for her own album. Her album “Camila” would have been just better. Now at least Ariana got a good song on the album.
So, my masterpieces of the album are: “God is a woman”, “everytime”, “breathin” and the lead single “no tears left to cry”. “breathin” is just an anthem we all needed for this fall season. I really love this song I listen to it when I’m stressed out and just need to calm down and breath. “everytime” must be the next single, in my opinion, it’s a song I could listen on repeat. I wish she just released an EP with these songs. Then I would have adored the EP, it would have been the best EP of all time because these songs are masterpieces. And Ariana please don’t work with Pharrell Williams again at least not for your next album. You better keep working with the songwriters Max Martin and Ilya Salmanzadeh because they know what your fans like.
Let me know what you think about her album “Sweetener”. Am I the only one who thinks that this is her worst album so far?