When I first heard Ariana Grande’s voice on Victorious, my jaw dropped. She had the voice of an angel – I couldn’t believe my ears! Now two years later, I’m an Arianator and have blasted this album on my iPod non-stop for the past 15 days. Here’s my track-by-track review of Ariana’s “Yours Truly!”
1. Honeymoon Avenue -8.5/10
This is a powerful ballad that’s a great opening track to showcase Ariana’s vocal talents. This song is about love hanging by a thread and pleading for things to work out, but bracing yourself if it (most likely) doesn’t. The last 20 seconds or so at the end feels awfully out of place, though. The beat suddenly gets heavier and a deep voice loops the words”Honeymoon Avenue,” followed by Ariana singing, “Let’s just go back(b-b-ack)” and finishing the song with a “Hey!” It’s a very odd way to end the song. All of the driving analogies are very clever.
Favorite Line: “Stuck in the same old lane, going the wrong way home”
2. Baby I – 6/10
The verses for this song are catchy, but the chorus is very weak. The chorus is basically mumbling different ways of singing “Baby I”. The verses are very good and the bridge is only salvaged by the “Baby I” belting at the end. I just think that particular phrase has a good melody. And just speak this lyric out loud. “I can’t explain what I’m feeling and I say ‘Baby, I.'” Even if you say to your lover “Baby, I” When you’re at a loss for words, it sounds weird to say it when you’re explaining it to someone. “When I can’t explain it to him/her, I just say, ‘Baby, I.'”
Favorite Line: “All I’m trying to say is you’re my everything”
3. Right There 7.5/10
This song opens with Ariana belting her angelic high notes. Then Big Sean comes in, which is really nothing special. The verses that Ariana sings sound a tiny bit awkward and disconnected, and the chorus even more so. However, it’s catchy nonetheless. The flat note in the line “I’ll never let you go” is a very nice touch.
Favorite Line: “Cause you listen, and you care”
4. Tattooed Heart 5.5/10
This is a very interesting song, but I find it very slow and boring. It sounds very Christmasy to me as well, which adds to its cheesiness. It’s a good change for the album, but it’s not for me.
Favorite Line: “I wanna say we’re going steady like it’s 1954”
5. Lovin’ It 8.5/10
The intro to this song is immensely catchy, as is the rest of the song. This song will force you to dance or at least rock to rhythm as you listen. Not to mention the end of the bridge where she harmonizes is divine!
Favorite Line: “Baby, don’t you know you’ve got all my love, all my love”
6. Piano 9.5/10
This song is by far the catchiest song on the album. The piano riff at the beginning already tells you “This song is going to be great.” The autotuned “Ohs” are catchy too. This seems to be a pattern with Ariana – once again, the verses are catchier than the chorus. Or verse, I should say. That’s right – there’s only one verse that’s repeated twice in the song. If they had just taken the time to write a second verse, this song would easily be a 10. The verse is still well-written, but not good enough to repeat twice. The end to the song is exactly how I would’ve ended it, too – the verse serves for a perfect outro. “I’d rather make a song… that makes you wanna dance, don’t it make you wanna dance?” You bet it does!
Favorite line: “I could write a song with my new piano, I could sing about how love is a losing battle”
7. Daydreamin’ 7/10
This is a very mellow song. It’s boring at times, but it’s very retro and very relaxing. The flat chords (is that the proper term?) are a nice touch, and the recording of Ariana’s grandparents telling the story of how they met likewise.
Favorite line: “Daydreamin’, with my chin in the palm of my hands”
8. The Way 8/10
This song is catchy, but overplayed and it’s gotten kind of boring. This song has been reviewed and overanalyzed to death, so I’ll keep it brief.
Favorite Line: “I ain’t a player, I just -“
9. You’ll Never Know 9.5/10
The lyrics are phenomenal for this track, and the melody is infectious. It would have been a 10 if there wasn’t one better song on this album
Favorite Lines (This song’s lyrics are so good I have 3!): “And it sucks to be all in your head” ; “But if you woulda manned up, put your hands up, stand up” ; “Now it’s probably hard for you to hear, but there’s nothing left for you to say”
10. Almost is Never Enough 9/10
This is a nice stripped-down ballad, that again, can become boring at times, but Ariana and Nathan’s vocals keep your attention for sure!
Favorite Line: “I’d like to say we gave it a try”
11. Popular Song 8/10
The song is catchy, but this bubblegum pop tune feels out of place on this album. It’s still a fun (and funny) song about the popular vs. nerd battle in which the nerd always gets the last laugh. The lyrical reference to “Wicked” is extremely clever, too.
Favorite Line: “It’s not about who you are or your fancy car” (Just because of the way Ariana’s voice sounds)
12. Better Left Unsaid 10/10
I am obsessed with this song! This track is absolutely flawless. Ariana’s vocals are perfect, especially the vibrato that she adds to the low note of “Better” in the verses. I actually didn’t like this song very much at first, but it grew on me a LOT. The best thing about this song, though – you hear the verse start. It’s beautiful, but you can’t help but think the ballad idea has been used enough already in this album. After hearing the strange buildup from the end of the verse, you’re surprised as the song bursts into a techno beat. This took some getting used to, as it appears the techno ‘ruins’ the song at first, but actually the transition is a genius and well-implemented design for the song once you get used to it. The ending is perfect, too – I’m glad they ended it with the ballad side of the song rather than the techno.
Favorite Line: “I could tell a lie, blame tonight, too many drinks, so many reasons that some things are better left unsaid”
(2nd Place: “I told you once, get out of my life, I don’t need ya, I’ll be alright but some things are better left unsaid)
Overall Score: 8/10 – Although it has some dull tracks, Ariana more than makes up for it with several catchy songs. Wonderful debut album!