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The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

‘eternal sunshine’ is missing Grande’s old musical quality

Photo courtesy of Republic Records
Grande’s ‘eternal sunshine’ contained 13 tracks, including ‘imperfect for you.’ The album released Mar. 8.

Four years after “Positions,” a very public divorce and honey blonde hair, Miss Ariana Grande has returned to bless the world with her angelic vocals with her latest album, “eternal sunshine.”

I suffer from the auditory disease that does not allow me to like an album on first listen. But after a month of marinating, I am thoroughly delighted by her newest release.

Coming at a lucky 13 tracks, “eternal sunshine” is lemon meringue pie — tart on the inside sprinkled with confectionery sugar. Disguised by a catchy pop tune, her lyrics are often raw and profound — as expected on a divorce album.

I wouldn’t call this your mother’s divorce album, however. While it does maintain a sense of yearning for what was, Grande is prophetic and sings to a future love in “the boy is mine.” And boy is the song catchy.

Grande’s current lover is rumored to be actor and costar on the upcoming “Wicked” movie Ethan Slater, who bears an eerily shocking resemblance to her brother, Frankie Grande. And after seeing Slater’s whole ass on display at the Broadway show Spamalot, I hope she was talking about someone else in “the boy is mine” because I can assure you, we don’t want him.

I’ve been a long time Grande fan stemming from her run on the Nickelodeon show “Victorious.” Her singing instantly struck me and many others, with her then deeper vocals. It’s what attracted me to songs from her earlier albums like “Almost Is Never Enough” and “Honeymoon Avenue.” Though I love this album, I feel like this album is missing her darker tone quality.

This realization came when Grande’s performance of “imperfect for you” on Saturday Night Live popped up in my recommended page the morning after. Grande is bathed in sunlight center stage in a tulle dress that feels reminiscent of her 2018 Met Gala look.

At the time, I had only listened to about a quarter of the album and hadn’t gotten to “imperfect for you” yet. The song starts with a guitar strumming, far different from the pop electronic sounds in the start of her other sounds. A dissonant ad lib echoes in the chorus, singing the song’s title, contrasting the simpler harmonies of some of the tracks on the album.

It felt like old Ariana.

But when I was listening to the studio recording, it was missing that darker, deeper and frankly nostalgic tone quality I needed. And then I had realized: All my favorite songs on the album were songs that were sonically similar to past songs. “intro (end of the world)” felt like “pete davidson” (such a poorly aged song title) off of her fourth album “Sweetener.”

Since boarding “Wicked,” Grandes voice has become brighter, presumably because musical theater requires that particular timbre. I almost couldn’t believe how different Grande’s voice sounded on her feature for “Die For You” by the Weeknd, but it paired perfectly for that song.

Obviously, different songs require different tone qualities. I just wish that Grande embraced her lower register a little more. She has a whole new generation of fans who haven’t been exposed to her soulful side and it’s time for it to reappear.

But perhaps I need to say “bye” to my opinion and save my tears for another review.

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