Sweetener

Ariana Grande - Sweetener
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2018 Ratings: #238 / 551
User Score
Based on 498 ratings
2018 Ratings: #345
August 17, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Republic / Label
R&B, Electropop, Pop / Genres
Suggest a Genre
Add
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account.
Tags
Your Review

CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Entertainment Weekly

More than any of her previous works, Grande is in the driver’s seat behind Sweetener‘s wheel.

85
The Line of Best Fit

It does exactly what it says on the tin. Fifteen tracks that put a smile on your face and a tear in your eye.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

Because it deviates from what fans expected, Sweetener takes a couple rotations to sink in, but if you give it time, you’ll see Ariana Grande really threw it down when she took down her ponytail.

83
A.V. Club

Confident and empowered, Sweetener illustrates once again that Grande is an unparalleled pop chameleon.

81
Pitchfork

After years of searching, Ariana Grande has found her true voice. Sweetener is an exemplary pop album, radiating with low-key joy and newfound love.

80
NME
The superstar returns with a confident, accomplished, sometimes left-field collection of pop bangers, proving that she's not shy of experimentation.
80
The Telegraph

As modern, branded, blockbuster pop albums go, Sweetener is a delightful confection.

80
The Observer

Ultimately ... it’s the resolution and defiance of lead single No Tears Left to Cry that permeates Sweetener: the sense of facing the worst of humanity and coming out stronger.

80
Rolling Stone

Finding light is often much harder than drowning in darkness, but on Sweetener Grande makes moving forward from pain feel easy and, most importantly, possible. That light Grande promised has helped lead her down the path toward her best album yet, and one of 2018’s strongest pop releases to date.

80
AllMusic

An album that coheres in a way other Ariana Grande albums don't, which means Sweetener is something of a double triumph: she's come through a tough time stronger and better than before.

80
Highsnobiety

This album is ultimately a labor of love, but the passion has never been stronger. Grande is a survivor and she’ll keep on fighting until her soaring voice gives out.

80
Spectrum Culture
This is the rare pop album where the filler is more interesting than the singles. There’s not a lot here that really feels extraneous.
76
GIGsoup

'Sweetener' sees Ariana Grande leaving her comfort zone, and yet it feels like she's more at home and in control than ever. The songs here are by turns triumphant and tender, intimate and anthemic, mellow and mature.

70
Slant Magazine

Sweetener is a reflection of Grande's growing awareness of herself as an artist and her place in the world.

70
FLOOD Magazine

Sweetener is a pop remedy for anxiety, while also explicitly detailing its crippling nature.

70
The Needle Drop

Sweetener may be a Top 40 album through and through, but it's somewhat elevated by some quality production and Ariana Grande's consistently strong vocal performances.

67
Consequence of Sound

It’s rare for an album with so many stunning moments to suddenly become so aggressively mediocre. Still, the highs of Sweetener outweigh the lows. But with such lofty highs, it’s hard to be content with the album that is and not think about what the album might have been.

60
Exclaim!

No matter how current her themes, musically, Sweetener may be Ariana Grande's nostalgia album. An obvious throwback, it refers back to the pop of the early aughts by divas — and obvious inspirations — like Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears. More than a return to basics, it's probably Grande's way of recalling a simpler, less troubled time.

60
The Guardian
It makes for an uneven album that attempts to balance the desire to – as Grande put it – “make the weirdest thing we can” with something infinitely more straightforward. It sounds like the work of an artist torn between doing exactly what she pleases and, perhaps understandably under the circumstances, giving her audience what they want.
60
The Independent
Often unexpected, sometimes in a good way, it is an album by an artist in flux – trying to move forward while reluctant to fully relinquish old ideas.
60
God Is in the TV

Sweetener ends up being hard to fully connect with as the songwriting can be meandering in places and needs more of the sharpness of her best work. Hopefully this works as a transitional release and the glimpses of brilliance here will be more fully realised next time.

60
Sputnikmusic
On a perfect album, Grande should be able to swirl a myriad of diffuse instrumentation into a potent brew with her lightning-rod vocal presence, but that’s not what happened here.
Aug 17, 2018
exception
71
This is the first Ariana Grande album I've listened to all the way through, and I'm taken aback. Of course it's not a revolutionary piece of pop, but I underestimated Ariana's talent. Her singing is full of life and is enough to carry most of these songs without needing any huge features to back her up, as Ariana has done previously on big singles and other album cuts. The production is a place where there are some inconsistencies; Pharrell Williams' contributions stick out like a sore ... read more
Aug 20, 2018
FearFlour
70
I saw an Ariana fan on twitter call Pharrell a "one hit producer". Smh.
Aug 17, 2018*
Tebitas
71
what are yall on this shit slaps.
Aug 21, 2018
BradTasteMusic
70
This production matched with Ariana’s singing is amazing. Pharrell and Ariana have a natural chemistry. It is still pop music watered down for the radio and it doesn’t reach its full potential. However it is still really freaking good
Aug 18, 2018
LepardRyan
60
Probably low-balling this score but this is a pretty good album tbh. It's nothing I see myself returning to often outside of a handfull of tracks, but it's entirely listenable and I wouldn't fault anyone for liking this.
Purchasing Sweetener from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

Track List

  1. raindrops (an angel cried)
  2. blazed (feat. Pharrell Williams)
  3. the light is coming (feat. Nicki Minaj)
  4. R.E.M
  5. God is a woman
  6. sweetener
  7. successful
  8. everytime
  9. breathin
  10. no tears left to cry
  11. borderline (feat. Missy Elliott)
  12. better off
  13. goodnight n go
  14. pete davidson
  15. get well soon


Added on: May 2, 2018