I almost played Ariana Grande’s latest album, Sweetener, for my kids. After all, Grande is a former Nickelodeon star whose lead single, “No Tears Left to Cry,” has been on heavy rotation on Radio Disney during our morning commutes to school.
Williams and Grande’s chemistry is impeccable, as a song like “Blazed”—the only full vocal collaboration between the two—sounds like it’s going to be playing on the background of a trailer for a rom-com sometime in the next six months. “The Light Is Coming,” featuring Nicki Minaj, is another upbeat offering to help maintain the momentum early in the album.
Songs like “God Is a Woman,” the super sexy “Sweetener”—which sounds a lot like it's about oral sex—and “Get Well Soon” offer minimalist production, allowing Grande’s transcendent voice to take over. Don’t be surprised if a couple of those songs end up on your “grown-up time” playlists.
Don’t be surprised if a couple of those songs end up on your “grown-up time” playlists.
Sweetener is Ariana Grande’s coming-of-age album. She’s sexually liberated, allowing her music to follow suit. Most importantly, she’s musically liberated, drifting between genres and letting her truly miraculous voice do the heavy lifting. Grande isn’t just a hitmaker—she’s a full-on musician, and it’s fantastic to watch. Parents, you might want to take a few listens before you assume your kids are enjoying some wholesome music from a former Nickelodeon kid, and who knows, you may end up with a few songs to play after those same kids go to bed for the night.