Probably Ari's strongest 'album' as a unified object. While I do not love every song, (I really do not like 'A Light is Coming') I find this to be the most consistent from start to finish in terms of an aesthetic. I like this album because it pairs some of my favorite early Ari elements with a new sense of confidence. 'breathin' blends a swelling chorus that is constantly building with surprisingly honest lyrics; her vocals and the maximalist production competing for who can be more emotional. 'goodnight n go' is a breathy ballad that particularly highlights her controlled acrobatics. There is a renewed sense of optimism throughout the album. These are songs filled with hope and movement forward.
Trying to be sentimental without being cliche can be a challenge in contemporary pop. Ari gracefully finds a sweet spot on Sweetener; these songs remind you that there is a tomorrow and it doesn't have to be weighted down by the drama of the past.