Sweetener | Teen Ink

Sweetener MAG

November 10, 2018
By anastasi SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
anastasi SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

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Ariana Grande is one of the music industry’s most talented vocalists, and the release of her revolutionary album, “Sweetener,” has only increased her popularity. Grande guides you through a valley of uncensored themes and lyrics, her robust voice preaching the words of those who stay silent about their agony. The singer explores topics such as abusive relationships, sexism, and loss, through upbeat songs that make one’s heart bounce. “Sweetener” is inscribed into history with its sanguine and unexpurgated lyrics.

The R&B album emerged from the singer’s delight and grief. The songs are not only inspired by romantic heartbreak, but also events that appeal to listeners around the world. Her engagement to SNL star Pete Davidson influenced her to write the 15th song on the album, named “Pete Davidson.” Although the relationship failed, she stated that her connection with the comedian was true love. She got engaged to Davidson only six weeks after they began dating.  “Breathin” and “Get Well Soon” address her anxiety about the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The combination of Grande’s stellar vocals and topical songs made “Sweetener” the singer’s third album to rank #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The upbeat songs on the album describe the jubilation the singer feels in her relationship. She teases her audience with the hope of romantic love and wishes that everyone could find a soul mate just like she did. In “Blazed,” Grande sings, “Thought that I was dreaming/ ‘Til my love came around.” It’s an ebullient pop song with a sprinkle of perfection. “R.E.M” is another example of how Grande manages to describe her idealistic relationship. She sings, “Think I heard some wedding bells.” The song portrays lovesick Grande meeting Davidson in her dreams, and details the potent emotions she felt when she first encountered him. The title song, “Sweetener,” speaks about greeting grief with happiness, thus completing the most crucial of mirthful songs.

My favorite track, “God Is a Woman,” illustrates the life of a woman in the modern era. When people hear the word “feminism,” they imagine a vexed female degrading men on the street. However, Grande shoves this stereotype away by describing the power women have. She advocates, “I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious/ Anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my sisters/ And you will know/ My name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.” This lyric alters the Bible verse from Ezekiel by switching the speaker to a woman. I am particularly fond of this song. As a female ice hockey player, I participate in a sport that didn’t allow women to play professionally until 2015. According to my opponents and society, I should not be able to compete with boys. Empowered by Grande’s song, I tightened my skates and set out to be victorious.

A few of the songs carry heavy themes. “Breathin” discusses Grande’s anxiety about the Manchester Arena bombing. To cope with trauma, she advises herself and her audience to: “Just keep breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’.” “Get Well Soon” speaks about the bombing as well, and recommends unfollowing and blocking fear in order to thrive and live another day. “Everytime” details a struggling young woman in an abusive relationship, and her argument with herself about whether to stay or go. These anthems empower people to act, even though their situation may be worsening. On rainy days, or before stressful exams, listening to these formidable anthems make my loneliness fade away. It feels like Grande is giving me a warm embrace and soothing me with comforting words.

The combination of sweet vocals, jolly tunes, and fierce lyrics form the ideal album. Ariana Grande’s songs empower people on a daily basis, and will continue to do so throughout history. After listening to this album, your life will feel like a dash of “sweetener” was sprinkled in, making the sour moments fade away.



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