Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ariana Grande Drops a Soulful Max Martin Produced and Co-Written Album, Goes to Number 1


Ariana Grande understood the assignment, that’s for sure.

She put herself in the hands of Swedish powerhouse producer and songwriter Max Martin. (I told you about this last fall.)

The result is a winning, tuneful R&B album called “Eternal Sunshine.” Ariana wrote all the lyrics. Martin — who’s written dozens of great hits for everyone — did the music.

There’s only one “interpolation” — a semi cover of Brandy’s “The Boy is Mine.” Otherwise, the songs are fresh and melodic and catchy. Ariana sings, she doesn’t put her voice through any tricks. There’s no yodeling. Her gorgeous tones are heard clearly and straight on, with strings and real instruments playing behind her. There’s a trombone!

Like the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the album is about forgetting if not forgiving. In the movie, minds can be wiped clean of memories. It seems like Ariana would like to do that concerning her recently ended marriage. She’s moving on with her boyfriend, Ethan Slater, whom she met while making the “Wicked” movies.

The album has a lot of potential singles and very playable tracks that should give it a long life. We haven’t had one of those in a while. Nicely done.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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