Ariana Grande’s sweetest album yet.

Album cover for Ariana Grande’s latest album, Sweetener.

Album cover for Ariana Grande’s latest album, Sweetener.

Charlie Seel, Sports Editor

The highly anticipated fourth studio album “Sweetener” by Ariana Grande was released on August 17, 2018. Grande experiments with many different genres and artists on this album, but keeps to a familiar sound with her pop roots.  Sweetener features collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, and Pharrell Williams, a main collaborator throughout the entire album.

Grande opens up the album with a 37 second song cover of The Four Seasons’ “An Angel Cried” which showcases her notably wide vocal range. The intro song introduces a taste of the rest of the album’s sound. Grande also samples a song by Imogen Heap on the track “Goodnight and Go”, giving the older song a more modern feel.

As you listen to the album, Grande revisits a few familiar sounds and vibes from her past works and provides the listener a more in depth and mature version of her earliest works.  On the track “sweetener”, Grande takes a mixed genre approach, starting off the song with a more ballad sound, but then switches to repeating multiple words to a rhythm and blues beat. In the title track, ad libs are voiced by artist Pharrell Williams, who also features on the song “blazed” on the album. Grande also dedicates a song named after her fiancée, comedian Pete Davidson.

The two lead singles “No tears left to cry” and “God is a woman” both earned praise on Grande’s musical ability, yet “God is a woman” brought a lot of controversy with the lyrics in the chorus saying “You’ll believe God is a woman”. In the music video for “God is a woman”, Grande uses many historical references with one scene re-imagining Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam by replacing men with women. A feminine aesthetic is applied to her recreations.

There has been some controversy whether or not Grande’s album has lived up to its expectations. “I feel like I’ve heard it before,” said sophomore Kaitlyn Pascoe. While many of Grande’s fans think she did not make the album as memorable as they expected, many others believe Grande poured her heart into Sweetener. This is her first album after the Manchester tragedy in 2017. “I feel like it’s very heartfelt, she puts her emotion into it,” said sophomore Taylor Hulsey.