New releases from Ariana Grande, Flume, Beth Orton and Minor Victories
The vocal abilities of Ariana Grande have never been in question, but on her previous albums, she played it safe with doo-wop ditties and PG pop. However, on Dangerous Woman, she sheds the innocent image while unleashing an avalanche of explosive pop songs with lashings of R&B (Let Me Love You), reggae (Side to Side), gospel (Greedy) and 1990s house (Be Alright). The former Nickelodeon star shows a more sophisticated side on the low-key title track and, with a helping hand from Macy Gray, takes a soulful turn on the grainy Leave Me Lonely. The energetic Into You, with its thumping chorus, is a contender for pop song of the summer. Dangerous Woman is not without its flaws – the dreary Sometimes is an acoustic snorefest – but it’s placing Grande on the right track to become the perfect pop star.
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