Can Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” Conquer Summer 2016?

I’ve made my decision, to test my limits” After a painfully-extended promotional run, pop’ music’s four-octave fave Ariana Grande has finally released her third full-length album, “Dangerous Woman”. The album is preceded by the singles “Dangerous Woman” and “Into You”, along with many other bops that we’ll get to later.

The wait for #AG3 could have been a lot shorter. After scrapping 2015’s “Focus” over online criticism about it sounding too similar to her 2014 Iggy Azalea collab “Problem”, Ariana took a few months off to realign her chakras, lick some donuts, and post more cryptic tweets, Snapchats, and Instagrams as punishment for our audacity in questioning her earworm-releasing skills.

Exploding back into the scene in Q1 and renaming her album from the sappy and wide-eyed “Moonlight”, which is now the opening track, Ms. Grande stormed to the top of the streaming charts with the rock-tinged title track, along with a handful of hits that just stunned listeners worldwide. Like an effortless 1 2 3 combo from an experienced boxer, promotional singles “Be Alright”, “Let Me Love You”, and “Into You” became instant favourites – hits that’ll subconsciously stay in your mind for days.

But let’s cut to it – will the album’s offerings see Ariana through to the top of Summer 2016? While it’s easy to think that a bomb single and some follow-ups of different genres will do the trick (she did pull this off with her previous album and its 4 successful singles), “Dangerous Woman” might face another issue: We’ve already heard most of it.

With 11 tracks in the standard edition and an additional 4 songs in deluxe (that do nothing for the album, really), the album is already an open book of hits. Aggressive pre-release promotion means we’re already familiar with a third of the album – easily the best 4 tracks. What’s left for fresh listening are the standout tracks “Greedy” and “Everyday”, the latter a Future collaboration.

The much-hyped Nicki Minaj collab (“Side To Side”) holds a vastly different reggae flavour to the electronic album, but pop’s fascination with island influences may have only lasted about as long as Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and Minaj’s own “Trini Dem Girls”. Will America crown “Side To Side” as their summer anthem of 2016? Not likely.

Here’s where it doesn’t get pretty: The deluxe edition of “Dangerous Woman” is essentially deadweight. Expectations weren’t high after the closing track from the standard edition (“I Don’t Care”) very self-consciously consisted of roughly 3 words, and it’s not like Ariana’s hiding a “New Romantics” somewhere in the bonus tracks. Let album rejects be album rejects.

Thankfully, “Dangerous Woman” is cohesive as a (standard edition) whole, marrying the “old music” to the “new music” as Ariana herself so wanted. What’s been done right here include the title change, more bravery in trying out new ground – such as rock influences and a Macy Gray collab (“Leave Me Lonely”) – and remarkable songwriter/producer choice (why are all the Swedes so talented?!).

What Ariana can do from here on now is to release killer music videos for the true mega-hits that are “Into You” and the funk-infused “Greedy”, without the latter ripping off too many pages from Beyoncé’s “Blow”. To avoid yet another boring doe-eyed, I’ll-touch-myself-while-staring-at-the-camera video, we 100% recommend teaming up with director Max Landis after his stellar work on “One Last Time”.

Did you know that Ariana Grande’s already had 2 holiday EPs out? More on “Christmas & Chill” here.

Yeah, us at DANAMIC.ORG are total Ariana stans, can’t you tell? Listen to the album on Spotify here!

Jovi Ho

I'm passionate about pop music (trashy/regular), anything with an artistic slant, and garlicky chicken rice chilli. I also bake for sanity's sake.

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