Album review: Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman

After her successful album, My Everything, transformed her from Nickelodeon actress to chart-topping international superstar, Ariana Grande released her third studio album, Dangerous Woman, that refines her sound with her incredible vocals and she feels unapologetic about it. Let’s break down each track of her biggest album yet.

“Moonlight” is the first track and was originally the name of the album before Grande changed it to Dangerous Woman. It serves as the intro to this album with its slow, enriched, 50s-inspired sway. In this track, Grande is mesmerized and in love with this new boy that she has in her life because he is able to give her true love that seems almost non-existent in its sheer beauty.

“Dangerous Woman,” the title track, is a slow, edgy, pop-rock track where Grande revels in the excitement and power she feels when she’s with her man, but also on how she feels around her lover and how she feels reckless and disregards the consequences. To Grande, a dangerous woman is someone who’s not afraid to take a stand, be herself and be honest. She felt the song described the album as a whole better and showed her progression of where she wanted to take her music. She retitled her album to Dangerous Woman because it represents more accurately where she’s at now.

“Be Alright,” the third track, is a light, upbeat marimba-backed track. Grande reassures her listeners that although we face challenges in life, eventually we’ll overcome our obstacles and “everything will be alright.”

“Into You,” the fourth track, is an up-tempo, sexy, flirty track as it centers around an addictive love interest. This track served as the second single from the album.

“Side to Side,” the fifth track, is a reggae-infused track about pursuing a love interest regardless of what your friends think or how they feel. Grande is aware that this man may not be good for her, but she brushes this aside. “Walkin’ side to side” is about the sore waddle that sometimes follows sex. What also made this song a chart-topper is Nicki Minaj, who is featured in the track.

“Let Me Love You,” the sixth track, is described as a slower, sexier, darker song. Grande stated it’s one of her favorite songs on the album and it was her first time collaborating with rapper Lil Wayne, who is featured in the song.

“Greedy,” the seventh track, is a funky, up-tempo track where Grande has caught all the feels for her new boyfriend and she wants more, more, more.

“Leave Me Lonely,” the eighth track, is a soulful duet with singer Macy Gray. The track is a stirring 60s-inspired sway with a cautionary tale of “dangerous love.”

“Everyday,” the ninth track, is a sexually charged duet with rapper Future. Grande seriously cannot get over how much she likes this guy.

“Sometimes,” the tenth track, is a sultry acoustic-pop track where we get a little glimpse of the old Grande.

“I Don’t Care,” the eleventh track, is a brassful and sultry R&B track where Grande stands her ground and says that she doesn’t care what other people think about her.

“Bad Decisions,” the twelfth track, is a hip-hop heavy track in which Grande sheds her good girl image, talking about how her lover excites her with his savage love.

“Touch It,” the thirteenth track, is a synth-heavy pop track where Grande is in an awful place where she’s consumed by unrequited love.

“Knew Better/Forever Boy,” the fourteenth track, is a two-song track combined into one. In “Knew Better,” Ariana isn’t feeling the love anymore and her lover can’t do better than her. In “Forever Boy,” Ariana has finally found this one guy who she’s deeply in love with and wants him to be her forever boy and never leave her.

“Thinking About You,” the fifteenth track, serves as the closing track featuring celestial production and a pulsating chorus. This is Grande’s self-pleasure anthem where she sings about when her lover is away and you have to take care of yourself. The sense of longing and melancholy contrasts with the triumph of the last chorus.

The album closes on a high note. Ariana has made an effective use of her triple threat ability by bringing together her knack for seductive balladry, dancefloor-filling pop anthems, and some 90s R&B throwback for one almighty third album.

The songs to have on repeat are: “Dangerous Woman,” “Into You,” “Side to Side,” “Leave Me Lonely,” “Everyday,” and “Bad Decisions.” I’m looking forward to her Dangerous Woman Tour that’s coming to Xcel Energy Center this Thursday which features Little Mix, who released “Shout Out to My Ex,” “Touch,” and “Wings,” opening for her.

Just like every album, there are a few songs that aren’t as good, but the album as a whole really shows the progression with Grande’s music, but also tells us how honest a ‘dangerous woman’ can be.

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