Now that Ariana Grande’s new album Dangerous Women has come out, it’s time for me to go back to Grande’s album in 2013 and finish ranking ALL of Ariana’s songs that has been officially released in her albums.
12. You’ll Never Know
You’ll Never Know is a particularly electronic track on Ariana’s debut album, and the effect isn’t as well-suited for her voice as are the acoustic ones in Yours Truly. Still, it seems fairly experimental which I can respect though I wasn’t personally a huge fan of the outcome. I think this song could have benefited a lot from a strong bass line. Too much treble with a bunch of snares and hi-hats in the percussion department.
11. Loving’ It
Same problem as You’ll Never Know. Too much treble makes the song feel young, childish, and half-baked. Why not use the whole music spectrum when you can?
10. Better Left Unsaid
Starts off strong with pretty emotionally captivating vocals but gets derailed with a pulsing bass line and rap portions in the chorus which feel out of place. An attempt to mix a party song with a Grande track from Yours Truly: better left undone.
The piano chords make an impression on me: it’s not your normal four chord jam although the song does little to mix things up beyond these four chords. There’s nothing disagreeable to be found while listen to Daydreamin’ but you may find yourself losing your attention during the song.
Alright, I love how there’s a song about playing the piano in this. The piano is actually nothing too spectacular–just a couple of chords that would usually be synthetic in Grande’s later work like in Break Free–but the piano is used to lyrically express internal happiness. In a self-aware song, Piano is successfully a song that will “make you run to the piano.”
7. Popular Song
I could honestly see an argument made for the derailing of Popular Song from Wicked but I personally didn’t see it that way. This popular song gets its translation with MIKA into the pop genre. MIKA and Grande’s high ranges respectively blends really well and Grande returns to her Broadway days, or perhaps her appreciation of musicals, to include this fun-to-listen track in Yours Truly.
6. Baby I
This may be the most quintessential song of the album. With a music video that sports Grande’s less sexualized outfits and dance moves, she’s found often partying and having a good time. With plenty of high notes coupled with lyrics about innocent love to remind you that this is indeed Ariana in her more youthful days, this song shares the breeziness and melodic tones of The Way to show us to a good time.
5. Honeymoon Avenue
With some unique sounds thrown in, like car honks to literalize honeymoon avenue as an actual road, Honeymoon Avenue is a not your traditional Ariana Grande fare even though it feels just right for her voice. With a strong orchestra background that dominates the introduction and ending–and a boy band a cappella group that backs her up on occasion–this song is a lovely byproduct of experimentation. With plenty of softer moments in the song, this will definitely make you feel something.
4. Tattooed Heart
Has anybody heard her sing this live? I like it better than her studio version. It’s clear that this one fits in Grande’s range perfectly despite being one of the most vocally challenging pop-pieces worth mentioning of 2013. In fact, it’s incredible that she’s even giggling on stage in her performance because I would say this is her most vocally impressive track of her album. It’s hard not to get into a song that Grande sings so damn well.
3. The Way
The first collaboration piece–this time with rapper Mac Miller–of three at the top of this list. The Way with it’s light, breezy pace and catchy melody will get the room nodding their heads and then wanting more when it ends. Sure, I wouldn’t play this song in a club setting but if I’m chilling with friends on a Thursday afternoon, The Way will probably make its way onto my playlist.
2. Right There
The song starts off with a bang. I love how she’s fanning herself in the music video while she hits like a high E on the top note. Ridiculous. Okay, so music video ridiculousness aside, Right There maintains the innocent themes and minimal background chords of her album while giving it an extra spark in vocals and groove. Out of all her songs on Yours Truly, this one is most likely to make it on a DJ mix and vocal-wise, she shows great control by flipping from head voice and chest voice artistically. There’s little to dislike right here.
1. Almost Is Never Enough
Sincere. Touching. Beautiful. I typically don’t enjoy Ariana’s collaboration pieces as much as her solo features, but this one with Nathan Sykes is simply my favorite. While I think Grande’s vocals outshines Sykes’, I do think his presence does add to the song since it is a tragic love song that works well as a duet. Plus he shows off some nice finesse at the falsetto parts. As is the case of most of my favorite Grande songs, the background is simple–piano with basic percussion–along with some additional vocal harmonies looped by Grande herself. The result is a song that feels timeless and a message that hits home: almost truly is never enough.
Averaged album rating: 7.4/10.0 (Great)
With an album with perhaps less sophistication than My Everything and less edge than Dangerous Woman, Yours Truly nevertheless features Grande’s voice the best with a dominating acoustic sound. There are some playful bits of electronics that would foreshadow the evolution of Grande’s music but I personally like to go back once in a while to listen to her music that could be described as being more innocent.