Monday, 15 October 2018

MUSIC MONDAY | SWEETENER REVIEW


So I wrote down some personal goals today to see why I have been so reluctant to post and one of the things I realised whilst reading through different content here on the internet is that I think I have lost interest in what I am posting. Mostly, I stick to new releases as these are the posts that do really well, attract the most traffic and hell I do actually like discussing new products, however it is becoming increasingly tiresome trying to keep up and I have ended up struggling to care with some of the personal issues I have been dealing with. As a result, I want to be more committed to my blog and posting content that most of all I like. I did a Music Monday series briefly back in 2014 possibly (post here) and although I have a very basic and sometimes odd music taste music means a lot to me. Particularly in these past few months when times have been seriously hard, Ariana Grande's Sweetener Album has gotten me through some tough times, when I couldn't sleep I would listen to it on Spotify (link here not sponsored of course) until my housemates woke up, when I was huddled in the library for days writing my dissertation I listened to it to get me through a stressful time. So because it has really helped me, I wanted to share my thoughts on this album and my favourite songs with you. Because if you are going through a tough time this might help you too


This isn't going to be a track by track review, I am just going to pick out my favourite songs and post videos of the songs/covers where possible. That being said it opens with raindrops (an angel cried) which showcases Ariana's amazing pipes and to me echoes with the sadness she experienced after the Manchester bombing. It is literally just four lines, a haiku if you will, which makes it all the more astonishing with how much it resonates. It is actually a cover of a song from the fifties by a band called Four Seasons. See the original by clicking here. Ariana decided to sing a piece of it acapella, she just woke up and had the song in her head that day and decided to added it before releasing it. 

When raindrops fell down from the sky
The day you left me, an angel cried
Oh, she cried, an angel cried 
She cried



Blazed and Light is Coming are the second and third tracks on the album, both featuring other highly respected artists Pharell and Nicki Minaj respectively, neither of these tracks appeal to me as an individual but I do listen to the album all the way through, I feel it helps me appreciate the tracks I do really enjoy even more. Is that weird? R.E.M is the next song I want to discuss in more depth, at first I wasn't that enthralled by it but it is definitely a grower. If you didn't know R.E.M. stands for rapid eye movement which refers to the fifth stage of the sleep cycle where you dream. Ariana herself announced that this was her favourite song on the album, there is some "explicit" language but overall it is about being in love with someone and it's incredibly easy and smooth to listen to. Here it live below and here is a couple lines from the chorus that reinforces the message of perfect love. 

'Cause you're such a dream (does this end?)

If you can believe, you're such a dream to me




Next chronologically is the one and only GIAW, God Is A Woman, which had a lot of people's knickers in a twist. Not only is it a great song that encourages women to feel empowered in their own bodies but the imagery in the music video is simply stunning, the art, the makeup, the gorgeous body paint and bath bomb situation. It was really well executed, and her live performance of it was equally as ethereal. Her voice is just so smooth in all of the songs that pop out to me from this album. If you loved Side to Side from the previous album this is a more sophisticated version of that, my one critique is her speech about "sisters" in the official music video seemed a little contrived and not directly related to the song, but she's beautiful the song is beautiful and the message is worth listening to even if it was cringey, but for that reason I added the live VMA version below because her costume and choreography are flawless



Next is one of my favourites and it is the title track Sweetener, and to me this is all about positivity and being grateful for all the good you have in your life even when it feels like the bad is suffocating you. It's a song that feels really hopeful to me and it reminds me that  nothing bad lasts forever and you will feel happy again. The ensuing track Successful is one of my least favourites so let's not dwell in it, although there are some good vocals, instead here's a live version of Sweetener below. 

When life deals us cards
Make everything taste like it's salt
Then you come through like the sweetener you are
To bring a bitter taste to a halt


Everytime by  Ariana Grande is a song I like a lot, it's a song that stays stuck in my head constantly and for the longest time I thought it was called Back To You. One thing I appreciate is that the choruses in these songs (most of them) are spot on, catchy with good lyrics and vocals. This song is about that one person you can't seem to shake for some reason you always end up with them despite efforts to the opposite. I like this song because it makes me think of all the times I have made the same mistake twice and how I never learn, it's nice I am not the only one.

I've tried to fight our energy (yee, yee!)

But everytime I think I'm free (yeah)

Next is Breathin' which has just been released as a single, this song is about anxiety I believe and I love it because I literally use this song in situations where I don't want to think. If I am on the way to work probably late I play this song. If I can't sleep I play this song, if I feel like I am going to cry in public I play this song. It is a song the world needs, not to be dramatic. Followed by No Tears Left To Cry, the first single to be released by Ms Grande, another song that grew on me. This song, to me, is about leaving the past in the past, sometimes we have no choice but to move on. It's interesting how differently lyrics can be interpreted. The chorus seen below I read as I am in such a sad state of mind I don't want to leave my room because I have cried so much I can't cry anymore when after listening to it a million times it seems to be the exact opposite, she is in a good state of mind and wants too feel like this forever she has ran out of tears and is living her best life. lmao.

Right now, I'm in a state of mind

I wanna be in like all the time
Ain't got no tears left to cry


Borderline is possibly my least favourite song which kills me because it is with Missy Elliot, a legend and an iconic. But I don't even like Ariana's vocals in this track so it's a pass for me, although the percussion at the end is quite good and very old school Missy. So if I get through the entire track which I  often do as I tend to listen to the whole thing on Spotify at least it ends positively. The last few songs are all songs I like a lot. Starting with Better Off  which is the saddest feeling song about deliberately being emotionally distant to protect yourself I feel like a lot of people can relate to that, the fear of getting hurt is often worse than getting hurt in the long run better to have loved and lost and all that. Here are some of my favourite lines and I urge you to listen to this song if you tend to like sadder more emotional songs like I do, I find them very cathartic. 

Steering clear of any headaches to start 
And if we're being honest
I'd rather your body than half of your heart


I am so happy because my favourite song has arrived, it is Goodnight n Go which samples from Imogen Heaps same titled song (listen here). The song is love and attraction and infatuation it's sweet and like most good songs riddled with sexual innuendo. The music itself is really beautiful, I can't find an Ari version of the song so here is Lewis Blissett, who is going to be super famous one day performing a mixture of Raindrops, Goodnight n Go and God Is A Woman. He is so good!


Oh why'd you have to be so cute
It's impossible to ignore you
Why'd you have to make me laugh so much?


Then we have a one minute song entitled Pete Davidson which is so damn good and just showcases a very happy and in love on cloud nine person. There's a lot of speculation that they have broken up which is sad but this song is so beautiful and I will be eternally glad it is on here. I just wish it was longer. Last there is the Better Off which Ariana said was about her anxiety and she wanted this song to be a song people who listened to it to be comforted by it. I like the song because it reminds me we all take a lot, like our health, for granted and oddly it reminds me of my Dad who has now been taking steps to make healthier changes to his lifestyle and I am super proud of him even though he judges the shit out of me everytime I eat something unhealthy.

This is for everybody

Babe, you gotta take care of your body, yuh yuh
Ain't no time to deny it, that is why we talking about it


Thank you so much if you read this, I know a lot of you probably couldn't give a shit and I cannot blame you, I know nothing about music but with my uncle and grandma passing away and feeling so alone and guilty music helped me a lot. We all have songs that remind us of people and memories and I will forever remember Sweetener as the album that got me through 2018, I still listen to at least one song from this album every day and I think this will be the case for the rest of this year. I  would love to hear what songs you have been loving, Sam Smith's new album is perfection too. Take care. 


What song do you love at the moment?


Love 
Kiran

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8 comments

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss of your uncle and grandma!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is really awesome and beautiful.
    Thank for this sharing.
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  3. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
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  4. So sorry to hear about your uncle and grandma, hun. :( I am here if you ever want to talk. I know that we mostly just keep in touch via blog comments, but I mean it with all my heart. <3 Hope things get better soon. Also, I think it's great that you want to post about the content that YOU enjoy. Blogging about makeup over and over can get tiresome, I can totally relate to that. <3

    Kay
    https://www.shoesandglitter.com

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  5. She's insanely good! I like her music and new cd.
    I saw her in concert... one of the best shows ever!

    www.fashionradi.com

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  6. I have been SO obsessed with this album ever since it came out! I think it’s th widest album I’ve listened to where i genuinely enjoy every single song! Get well Soon and Sweetner have to be some of my favorites though! Loved this :)

    Lily Loves | Lilyloves.net

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  7. So sorry for your loss, Kiran. So glad this album helped you get through a hard time. I love AG's tunes her first and second album were my fave, but this album was so different. Excited for her new music.! You're in my thoughts.

    x,

    S | Je M'appelle Chanel

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