Two years ago, Ariana Grande solidified her place as one of 21st century pop’s most revered queens with Dangerous Woman, an album that captured her unbelievable talent and confident, feisty spirit. She carries that relentlessness into her fourth LP, Sweetener, but with a different message -- one that shows Grande is more than a note-belting diva.
Those who hailed Dangerous Woman for its irresistible hooks may meet Sweetener with mixed reviews. While the club-ready lead single “No Tears Left to Cry” was a proven hit, Sweetener sees Ariana spending more time on her hip-hop interests and soulful R&B background rather than pop hooks. But that's not to say that Grande's latest album is a dud: Aside from the somber (yet beautiful) a cappella opener, "Raindrops (An Angel Cried)," every track on Sweetener has its own dance-worthy beat, and lyrically, Ariana explores love and heartbreak in a freshly inspiring, vulnerable way. This combination makes Grande's fourth album a special one, even if it isn't the most radio-friendly one in her discography.
Below, take a look at why Sweetener is Ariana's most uplifting album yet.