BY IRA HUFF
As far as debut albums go, Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly should rank highly on everyone’s list. Her voice is magical and her range is unmatched amongst her peers. She may not have the same high profile as Selena Gomez, or the attitude and grit of Miley Cyrus (that’s been on full display lately), but she and her album are most definitely gems.
Yours Truly begins innocently enough with “Honeymoon Avenue,” a solid lead-in track with slow-paced, heartstring-pulling power is complemented well by the likes of “Tattooed Heart.” However, most of the album is highly energetic,upbeat, and well built around the dynamic nature of each individual track. “Right There” is a hip-hop inspired Big Sean collaboration that lets Grande channel her inner Mariah Carey, which is by no means a bad thing. It’s actually welcome. It feels natural to compare the two, and in all honesty, the album feels as if it was designed specifically to draw such rich comparisons. To go further, on “Daydreamin’,” Grande is able to reach a level comparable to Beyonce, and “Piano,” a very catchy and radio-friendly tune, is Grande’s well-managed attempt to start her campaign as the next J Lo. She can go punch-for-punch with any of these ladies, any day. There’s no doubt about it.
And there’s also no doubt that you’ve heard her first single, the highly played “The Way,” with Mac Miller. If you’re savvy enough, you might have even heard her second single, the bouncy “Baby I.” But those aren’t even the strongest tracks on the album. All things considered, “Almost Is Never Enough,” in all its heartbreaking glory, is the absolute showstopper. Not to mention it’s a duet with Nathan Sykes, of The Wanted, who adds strength to an already killer track. It’s the most powerful song I’ve heard in recent memory, all genres included.
I’ll admit, however, that I have a fan boy crush on Grande. She’s brave, she’s opening herself up to the world, and she’s unafraid. I mean, we’re talking about a twenty- year-old girl having her break out year. Yes, the production value is extraordinary, the music is damn easy to listen to, but above all, in each track, you can hear her pouring her heart out. That’s what I love most about this album. It stirs something within me, and I’m unashamed to admit as much, and why should I be?
Let’s face it: even if you aren’t a teenage girl who just broke up with her first boyfriend, or who’s falling in love for the first time, you can appreciate this album and its pure, emotional rawness. She’s a spectacular songstress and I only hope she’ll be releasing music for years to come. And I don’t care who you are, don’t think that you can’t tap into your own inner teenage girl self and belt along with Grande. You’re not above it. Embrace it. Fall in love with that girl. Take my word for it; she’ll love you back.