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Album Review: Ariana Grande - "Yours Truly"

Ariana Grande is truly a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. She shot out of the gates with this debut album determined to win and, in my opinion, she has. She may not whistle live (yet) but she has no qualms about utilizing her whistle register in the studio and I respect the HELL out of her for it. For the most part her album is very old school, in sound. It is definitely new school in lyrics. I have to admit I was not floored by her first 3 singles so my expectations were less than low but I actually LOVE this album. 

Check out this track by track review of Yours Truly

1. "Honeymoon Ave" 
Beautifully sang, cutesy message, you know, missing the new love feeling. When everything is fresh and new? But what is up with the end? I get it. Dare to be different. But to be quite honest it just sounds like the track is skipping. 

2. "Baby I" 
I love the beat and there's no denying her voice is beautiful but the chorus is more than a little annoying. I truly don't appreciate the Ashanti tease its giving me. Shade but no shade. Clearly nobody's here for Ashanti, including herself, which is why she pushed that album to 2014. 

3. "Right There" (ft. Big Sean) 
Ariana slays me in the first 5 secs flat. SHE BETTER USE THAT WHISTLE DAMMIT! And then I woke up. Personally, I think its overkill to have Big Sean rap before and after. Seems like a space filler. Unless he's two people and UOENO it. 

4. "Tattooed Heart" 
"Just as long as I'm the name on your tattooed heart." SANG THAT SHIT AR­RI­AN­NA!!! Fave song by far! If this doesn't give me Misty Blue, All I Could Do Was Cry tease then I don't know what could ever. This track is soulful, passionate, and, in short, PERFECTION. I wanted to throw my damn tablet but Ariana ain't gonna buy me a new one. 

5. "Lovin' It" 
This song gives me a 90s vibe like the old girl groups but she's solo. Don't ask. I enjoyed it. Nothing to write home about but I appreciate that's she continuously paying homage to the era when real music lived. 

6. "Piano" 
This track is very Nickelodeon. Was the cast of Victorious doing her background vocals? I mean if her intended audience are the teeny boppers of the world then she's right on track with this song. But I honestly don't think that's what she's going for. 

7. "Daydreamin'" 
I saw the title and thought "Oh no. Her Mariah stalkerism is showing." I was pleasantly surprised. For some reason I could picture this being sung by Olivia Newton John. It is very old school. Reminds me of the movie Grease. I literally expected a John Travolta cameo mid track. This is almost as perfect as "Tattooed Heart". 

8. "The Way" (ft. Mac Miller) 
Again, rap overkill, but I love this song. It has definitely grown on me. This single introduced her to the non­Nickelodeon audience, and truly debuted her artistry. The beat is banging and she is SANGING hunni! Slowly shaking that goody two shoes Nick image but not in the crass way that some child stars are doing it. I got a bad boy I must admit it/ You got my heart, don't know how you did it. 

9. "You'll Never Know" 
We all know Ariana can sing but her tracks tend to be too much alike. I honestly had to look at the song title to differentiate it from the rest. Her vocals were on point though. Per usual. 

10. "Almost Is Never Enough" (ft. Nathan Sykes) 
Beautiful, serene, very late great Whitney and MOTHA Mariah­esque. I just closed my eyes and fell into bliss. And then this CHARACTER hopped loudly on the track. It reminded me of the way Missy hopped her loud ass on the Whisper remix. Sir. Your verse was unnecessary. Then you have the gall to be sharp and pitchy. Bye Ashy. 

11. "Popular Song" 
Ariana took the fast lane from Nick straight to Kidz Bop. Like is this for the soundtrack of an animated movie? I can't be bothered. I liken this the feeling of being on speed...skips track. 

12. "Better Left Unsaid" 
Started off whimsical then turned into a techno rave. I'm confused but I'll go with it. Well no. Yes. See? I'm not sure what to think. I won't say I dislike it. At any rate, it'd make one helluva ZUMBA warmup. Any instructors out there? 

This was a solid debut album for Ariana. The way she travels effortlessly through her vocal range is AH­MAZING! And this is only the beginning. I definitely predict a long career for her and I'm happy for her. My only gripe is her tracks began to blend a little to me. She just needs a little more variety. But go out and get Yours Truly, available today, its definitely worth the purchase! 

- Natasha Marie  
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