By Lottie Buchanan
Sweetener, the 4th studio album by Pop’s vocal queen Ariana Grande is an exemplary pop showcase of musicality, womanhood and vocal skill. After shadowing herself in alter egos and a shy girl aesthetic it seems that Ariana has finally found her true voice, taken control of her sound. She owns it on this one, her fourth album. This girl to woman evolution is most evident in God is a Woman, a powerful unapologetic expression of female empowerment. No Tears Left to Cry and Successful are fun and lyrically relevant to her triumph. (The album is confident and positive which is an excellent picture of strength after the turbulent year Grande endured in 2017.) She does not shy away from her negative experiences. No. She embraces them. It even shows in the vulnerability, evident on certain tracks like Breathin, where Grande references her struggle with anxiety. Grande’s undeniable talent has allowed her to become a household name, but her previous albums have been slightly weighed down by collaborations. Sweetener is finally about her and her voice and does not rely on other talent to make it stand out. The album opens with the song Raindrops a stunning acapella instantly setting the tone for the album and showing off the magical range of her voice. I go back to that at the end; play it one more time. Maybe another? Ariana’s stunning soprano instantly captivates and reminds me exactly why she is so exciting. Sweetener is the first step into a new era of her career. It will be interesting to see where she goes next.