Here’s a little secret — I am a huge Ariana Grande fan! I am pretty certain that I even made a fan page for her at one point in time. While I only began actively listening to and enjoying her music a couple of years ago, her albums and songs have cluttered my playlists ever since then. And not only is her recent music in my library but so are songs dating back to as early as 2013. Since her first album, Yours Truly, her successive albums have all offered a different style and vibe. I definitely have my favorites, and I’m here to rank them for you!
- Dangerous Woman
As Gen-Z would say, this album was a cultural reset. The energy in Dangerous Woman is loud, empowering, and energetic. Most of the music is fast-paced and pop-oriented, sprinkled in with jazzy, fun notes and lyrics. Apple Music describes Ariana Grande’s voice as “ferocious” in this album, and I think they’re completely right. She beautifully belts out upbeat tunes meshed with interesting and snazzy beats. Some of my personal favorite songs are “Touch it,” “Greedy,” and “Everyday (feat. Future).” Whenever I need a fun tune to blast in the car, Dangerous Woman comes to mind. It’s also a sure-fire method to help yourself feel like a badass, independent woman!
- Thank U, Next
Thank U, Next holds a special place in my heart. In a year and a half, Ariana Grande did the impossible: she released two hit albums. Thank U, Next came right after Sweetener. Both albums echo similar themes, but Thank U, Next focuses on moving on from heartbreak, finding strength in your losses, and being your own hype woman. After Ariana’s very public breakup with her then-boyfriend, Pete Davidson, she chose to respond in the form of music. Thank U, Next reminds girls that they do not need a boyfriend nor significant other to be strong and fierce. Instead, self-love is paramount. “Thank U, Next” is probably my all-time favorite song of hers. I wholeheartedly believe it showcases the resilience and courage Ariana Grande embodies and admirably shares with her fans.
Sweetener is Ariana Grande’s most healing album, not only for her fans but more so for herself. After the Manchester Bombing, the future for Ariana Grande remained hazy. She responded gracefully and courageously to the tragic attack, but it understandably left the pop star with her own onslaught of PTSD. In 2018, a year after the incident, Ariana dropped her fourth album, Sweetener, which featured light-airy ballads committed to paying homage to the ‘sweeter’ things in life. Sweetener, for the most part, is a very light, wholesome album. It’s much calmer than Dangerous Woman. Most of the songs are soft and feminine, and the singer’s voice is less harsh and fierce in this album. Instead, it has an angelic tone to it. The most important song in the album is undoubtedly “Get Well Soon.” It includes 23 seconds of silence at the end, in recognition of the 23 victims of the Manchester bombing.
- My Everything
My Everything is an iconic album. It probably deserves to be higher up on this list, but I have a few caveats with it. In my opinion, My Everything does not stand out as a collective album. It has some of Ariana’s most noteworthy songs, such as “Problem” and “One Last Time,” but unlike Sweetener, where each song helps relay a collective message, the individual singles do not fit together perfectly. Instead, My Everything is a heterogeneous album housing some of Ariana Grande’s best hits. I would probably hand-pick or select certain songs to listen to, rather than playing the entire album from start to finish. Nevertheless, My Everything reminds me of a year full of fun, lively music. Many of her songs in this album are particularly catchy. My Everything also brilliantly enlisted some of the industry’s biggest names: Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Zedd, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, and The Weeknd.
- Yours Truly
For OG fans, Yours Truly will always be a classic. After her brief stint in the entertainment industry, Ariana Grande finally dropped her first album in 2013. Yours Truly has a sort of innocence to it; unlike Dangerous Woman, which is loud and somewhat aggressive, Yours Truly is soft and docile. The music tends to be sweet and playful, much like Sweetener, and very feminine energy is present in the album as well. Her angelic vocals complement the light melody. I would personally describe Yours Truly as an album suitable for chill nights in with friends. I recommend listening to “Tattooed Heart” and “Honeymoon Avenue.” Some of the songs in the album are a bit mundane, but these two will always be some of my go-to favorites.
I hate ranking Positions last, but I found this album to be a bit lack-luster in comparison to her former ones. Positions is Ariana Grande’s most recent album, dropped in October 2020. The album is an R&B album, meaning the music is much slower and chill. While I think the songs are fun and flirty, there isn’t as much depth to them. Something I admire about Ariana Grande’s music is the level of conviction and depth she pours into each song. From the power in her voice to the original lyrics she creates, her songs make me feel something each time I listen. Positions, while a fun album, does not showcase the same ferocity that makes some of her other albums so appealing. Nevertheless, I think Positions was created with good intentions. Songs like “Positions” encourage females to ignore gender stereotypes, while “My Hair” and “Nasty” feature her whistle notes, which are simply enchanting to hear.