Ariana Grande – Sweetener (2018)

The biggest artist in the postmodern world is Ariana Grande. She has become the highest artist listened to on postmodern music charts, and has a great batch of songs to boot. This album really set the ball rolling for her in terms of popularity and being recognised as an artist. Let’s see if this album lives up to the hype.

The introduction raindrops (an angel cried) is a great piece, revealing Ariana Grande’s multi range vocal. She really does well here, and is a great start to the record. She sings powerfully, and with deep emotion. Great stuff.

We then kick off with blazed which features rapper Pharrell Williams. It’s not really about weed smoking, but it’s more about love. The lyrics are typical R&B sort of stuff, but the song is good anyway. It’s very catchy.

the light is coming is another guest vocalist piece, this time along with Nicki Minaj. It’s a postmodern “girl power” sort of track. It’s kind of annoying after a while to listen to. But okay for R&B nonetheless.

R.E.M. is a piece about dreaming of a lover. It’s a laidback and chilled sort of listen. It compares such a dream to reality. It’s a nice piece to listen to and fits well on the album. It opens up lyrically in a personal way, which is very typical of Ariana Grande to do.

The follow up is a very powerful statement from Ariana Grande, God is a woman. Which is probably a realistic observation. It is very melodic sounding, and it talks about a personal affection as a woman like Ariana Grande. It’s quite emotional, the chanting at the end of this track is great.

The title track of the album, sweetener is a good poppy and upbeat song to listen to. It refers to a positive outcome from love. It’s just terrific listening. It’s a gentle statement from Ariana Grande.

successful is directly about the confidence that Ariana Grande feels in her spotlight as a singer. It’s perhaps bragging or boasting, but the chorus is catchy enough to forgive our singer for that. A nice variety of sounds are here as well. The word bae is frequently used here, google that one if you are unsure. Very good regardless.

everytime is a piece about dealing with the pressures of fame. It sounds very dark though, with Ariana Grande delivering similarly themed lyrics. It’s not bad though, but reveals a darker, more personal side to her music.

The following song breathin is a more melancholy piece for the listener. It’s about keeping on going through life, no matter whatever happens. The repeated lyric, “Just keep on breathing and breathing and breathing,” is delivered fantastically and wonderfully here. A good piece from Ariana Grande, especially in her singing.

We then launch into no tears left to cry, with Ariana Grande telling the listener to remain positive no matter what. The lyrics have a little bit of a hypocritical nature about it though. It’s okay though as a song.

borderline is a short song, with Ariana Grande referring to herself as a “wifey type”. Ariana Grande has had her fair share of relationships in the limelight, and this song directly covers some of these. Missy Elliot does a short rap part towards the end. Not too bad to hear.

better off begins with an organ, then Ariana sings, leading into a nicely melodic piece with a chilled vibe. She reveals that her type of love based relationship and admits her love is not just for anybody. We can see why this sort of thing is very popular today. It’s a good listen.

The next song, goodnight n go reveals a more bitter side in Ariana Grande’s music about frustrations in her personal life. It has an annoying melody in the chorus, but that is easily forgiven.

The short ode to her ex pete davidson is a sweet and melodic piece that barely goes for a minute. It is a kind, and retrospectively, wasted gesture. But still, it’s good.

get well soon is a good way to end the album. It is a nice devotion to those going through hardship. It ends with nearly two minutes of silence, then we have finished the album, feeling great.

This album is proof of the postmodern talent that is Ariana Grande. She continues to make great music to this day. For those who do not know R & B style pop music, you can’t go wrong by listening to this album. It’s an enjoyable listen, by all means. A variety of beats, sounds and singing go wonderfully here. Well done Ariana Grande.

8/10

Oasis – Time Flies… 1994-2009 (2010)

Oasis were the best band of the 1990s. There, of course, was always friction between Noel Gallagher and his brother Liam on everything Oasis did. This sadly brewed tensions that by 2009, Noel had enough of. After a backstage incident of violence and Liam Gallagher breaking one of Noel’s guitars during an argument, Noel left Oasis and released a press statement shortly afterwards saying so. The band millions were familiar with had now gone.

But the flip side of the band breaking up was this album. It’s a fantastic representation of what Oasis were from start to finish. It includes songs from every album, as where Stop The Clocks ignored Be Here Now totally and Oasis had not yet recorded Dig Out Your Soul. This album is quite possibly the best starting point for the British rock band. It’s got a variety of great songs galore.

It’s a double disc album. Every album is covered here, and instead focusing on B-sides and rarities like Stop The Clocks did, it focuses on the main tracks of interest. Which is possibly why this album is just as essential as a good album by The Beatles. It also features Lord Don’t Slow Me Down and Whatever for the first real exposure of two very good songs indeed. The former is a fantastic acoustic based rant which sounds like it should have been on Don’t Believe The Truth. The latter is orchestral Oasis pop at its finest.

Is there a weakness with this album? Yes. Too much of the bad quality Oasis album Heathen Chemistry is here. Even so, it is good to balance out some of the stunning A-side single type songs with more variable and lesser-known songs in that respect.

Apart from that specific weakness, everything you love about Oasis is here. It’s a great compilation and shows you how wonderful the band and their music was. Own a copy today. After Oasis, Noel began a successful solo career in Noel Gallagher And The High Flying Birds. Liam Gallagher and the remaining Oasis members recording some ordinary material under the name Beady Eye which had limited commercial success, before Liam Gallagher began a much more successful solo career.

For those who are real fans, seek out the DVD and extra CDs that came along with this album as well. The DVD is fantastic and features commentary by Noel Gallagher.

Madferit.

9/10

Far East Movement – Free Wired (2010)

Who knew that a bunch of cool dudes living in California from an Asian background would make such great tunes? This album is a good album and deserves your attention.

The album itself is a great mixture of Electro, Hip Hop, EDM beats and RnB Pop sensibilities. Let’s give a run through of the track listing:

The first song Girls On The Dancefloor sets the scene, a party tune that is catchy, modern and hook-laden. It is pure fun.

The group’s biggest hit follows, Like A G6. This song features cut-up vocals, a catchy 808 “bump” and references to heavy drinking. Club central? You got it. Just don’t act like you’re drunk when you listen to this song.

Rocketeer is a rather melancholy piece about being in love. It’s great listening for anyone out there, “I’ve never been to outer space before, but I’ve never seen a face like yours” is a great lyric. These guys show more flexibility than your average pop group.

The next song features Snoop Dogg and comes titled as If I Was You (OMG). It’s a hilarious song about admiring the things girls do to get a guy’s attention. Pretty dirty though.

She Owns The Night is a great dance piece about a girl who masters her moves on the dancefloor. It’s more interesting and catchy than you’d think. These guys obviously had their fair share of wild nights.

The album begins to lag with So What? It’s not a bad tune, but can be repetitive to some. It does sample Kid Rock screaming, “WHATCHU WANT?!!” which proves that these guys had a variety of music tastes outside of the music scene that they would typically play.

Fighting For Air is a passionate song about sharing moments with a lady. And it’s not bad. In fact, by this point, this album is still going, and it kicks ass.

The following song White Flag features yet another guest Kayla Kai and is almost call-and-response in the way it is structured between verses and choruses. This is an unusual technique in today’s pop music and shows how intelligent the Far East Movement are.

The last song is kind of funny, but rather rubbish. 2 is Better is rather politically incorrect, and is only advisable for heterosexual men to listen to.

So why this album? Many people who follow the latest trends would identify this album as “old”. But it still sounds amazing and fresh to this day. If you have a Friday or Saturday night free and are about to hit the clubs, give this one a whirl. Nothing is more suitable for such an occasion. Despite the fact there are many guest musicians here, Free Wired is a club classic.

7/10