KnightLife Music Review

On August 17, 2018, Ariana Grande came out with her newest album, Sweetener. Full of hip hop, trap, and R&B influences, Grande was able to secure the #1 spot on the US Billboard 200 the day her album was released. Her songs vary from upbeat harmonies to wistful melodies. One of my favorites is “breathin,” which shows off Grande’s impeccable vocals while keeping a slow, catchy rhythm. The song is about, well, breathing, and is a reflection of Grande’s anxiety attacks and how she learned to cope with them. Grande said on the Jimmy Fallon show, “It’s a song about feeling… I was having lots of (anxiety attacks). We were in the studio, we were writing and I was like, ‘Ugh I can’t breathe.’ And they were like, ‘We’re going to write this song.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, I still can’t breathe, but we’ll write it.’”

Another hit from Grande’s album is titled “The Light is Coming”. “The Light is Coming” has a funky R&B and hip hop combination that is easy to bop your head to. In the background, a man is yelling, “You wouldn’t let anyone speak and instead-”. This clip is from a 2009 confrontation between a citizen and Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. With the confrontation clip and the featured mantra, “The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole.”, it can be assumed that Grande is writing about escaping from toxicity, possibly a toxic relationship. The relationship is the darkness, and her newfound freedom is the light. Unlike Grande’s previous albums, Sweetener, is targeted for people more interested in trap, R&B, and hip hop. She let things flow as she revealed her inner turmoils. I highly recommend Sweetener because it is poetic and real, which is something that we don’t often get in the music industry today.