I Love Ariana Grande, but She’s Letting Me Down

If you’re anything like me, you have probably played Ariana Grande’s new album “thank u, next” so many times that you have every line from almost every song memorized. Since “thank u, next” was released on Feb. 8, the album has already broken chart records. Grande claimed the number one, two and three spots on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart with her songs “7 rings,” “thank u, next,” and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.”  According to Billboard, this victory was last achieve 55 years ago by The Beatles, which makes Grande the second artist in history to achieve this accomplishment.

There is no denying that Grande’s new album is fantastic. She wrote all the songs while grieving the tragic death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and dealing with a messy break-up with her fiancé Pete Davidson. In my opinion, “thank u, next” is stronger than her previous studio album “Sweetener” which awarded Grande her first Grammy. However, there is no denying that I am disappointed with this album and overall with Grande herself. Now, Arianators give me a second to explain before you start blowing up my twitter feed.

While “thank u, next” is a marvelous piece of art and one of Grande’s best work so far in her career, I expect more from the woman that people claim is the voice of our generation. Grande has an incredible voice that rivals some of the best vocalists in the world (I’m looking at you, Mariah Carey). Her high notes could break glass, and I don’t even mean that in a joking way. Grande is meant to be the Celine Dion of our generation. She’s already proven that she has the voice for it with her spot-on impressions on “The Tonight Show” and “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). According to Grande herself in a radio interview that she gave in 2016, “When I met Celine she told me, she was like, ‘When I saw you, I peed!’” In other words, Dion is as impressed with the girl’s vocal skills as everyone else is.

Yet, none of Grande’s new songs showcase her vocal talent. The only song that come even close is “imagine” which is the only emotional ballad song on the album apart from “ghostin.” Everything else on the album is more mainstream pop that works well for breaking Billboard records, but not well enough to make an everlasting impression in the music industry.  

Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” is a legendary song that has gone down as one of the best love songs ever.  It’s the song people play on their weddings or on nights they are feeling depressed about their love lives. These are the types of songs that evoke emotion from people which make them iconic even years after they were released. Some might argue that Grande doesn’t want to follow Dion’s footsteps and carve her own path, which I understand and respect. But I think that after releasing five albums that revolve heavily on pop, Grande needs to start evolving and try new things with her music. We already know she’s an amazing pop-singer, but I believe that she could be an even better soul-singer like Dion.