Feature: Ariana Grande Makes Best Pop Record of 2013 With "Yours Truly"
Thu, 29 Aug 2013 11:00:39
"Some things are better left unsaid," Ariana Grande croons on "Better Left Unsaid" the final track from her phenomenal debut, Yours Truly—available September 3 via Republic Records.
However, there's one thing that needs to be said right now. Yours Truly is the best pop album of 2013, and it trumpets Grande's ascent to the throne at the genre's very top. There are a myriad of reasons why she's risen to this point with the album, and it's going to go down as a legendary offering a la Mariah Carey's self-titled debut and Mary J. Blige's What's the 411?. It doesn't simply hark back to pop's nineties golden age though. It paves the way for the brightest future the genre's seen in over a decade.
It all comes back to the music and the fact that this girl has the biggest voice out there right now. "Better Left Unsaid" sails from a dreamy verse into a full-on dance floor anthem. It's a surprising turn that's utterly refreshing. That's the wonderful thing about Yours Truly. It's full of surprises. Grande's wonder and enthusiasm augment every song with real heart. Album opener "Honeymoon Avenue" tiptoes from an orchestral swell down a piano melody as the singer's massive voice elegantly glides over this upbeat sonic backdrop. She delivers every line with a passion on par with pop's greatest talents. At the same time, she knows how to carry an infectious track too. Take the singles "Baby I" and "The Way" featuring Mac Miller, both of which were meant to be played as loudly as possible with all of the windows down.
"Tattooed Heart" is an epic ballad that's as powerful as it is poetic in its simplicity. Accompanied by finger snaps and a slow piano, Grande's voice really shines here. The same could be said for "Piano", which lithely bounces along with handclaps and of course a whole lot of keys. "Daydreamin'" wistfully floats to the heavens, while "You'll Never Know" tempers an R&B bounce with shimmering synths.
The most magical thing about Yours Truly is it's the first pop record in ages that feels personal. It's as if Grande is speaking directly to listeners with a vulnerability and vitality that's ultimately real. This is an album that can naturally transcend generations and will stand the test of time. Yours Truly is for you and everybody else out there…
See our feature on "Why Ariana Grande is Taking Over Pop" here!