Say goodbye to the pretty in pink, cutesy Ariana Grande we all know, and make room for the dangerous woman she has become. In her third studio album, “Dangerous Woman,” Grande showcases a more grown-up, sultry side to her personality. Compared to her previous albums, production is of a higher quality and to match that, her higher register is showcased much more.
The motif of physical desire drives tracks such as “Into You,” “Greedy” and the title track itself. Lyrics such as, “a little less conversation, and a little more touch my body” (“Into You”) and “I ain’t talking money, I’m just physically obsessed” (“Greedy”) express that a woman’s sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. Although a woman expressing her sexuality is a unique message, her lyricism offers little in the way of diversity. But the synthesized beats and distant sound of a horn ensemble make up for it, creating songs you can dance to.
Not only is this a pop album, but it is ingrained with a heavy dosage of hip-hop, R-and-B and reggae. In the Nicki Minaj-featuring, “Side by Side,” Grande’s smooth voice lays on top of an up-tempo reggae beat. And of course, Minaj’s feature is arguably the best part. Lil Wayne and Future also collaborated with Grande to produce hit-worthy songs.
Grande not only addresses her physical desires, but also the heartbreak and anger that can come along with the pursuit of such. In a track titled “Leave Me Lonely” featuring jazz singer Macy Gray, Grande is no longer tolerating this “dangerous love” with lyrics saying, “so when you walk out that door, don’t you come back no more.” It’s a bluesy ballad accompanied by Gray’s raspy voice, low piano chords and Grande’s emotional runs.
“Dangerous Woman” was produced by Max Martin, who has famously produced for Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 and it’s not a big surprise that Ariana Grande fits among these pop icons.
The album serves as Grande’s turning point into a more adult persona. She is all grown up and her fans have grown up with her making “Dangerous Woman” the peak of her career so far.