I already know I'm going to get hate for this, but it needs to be said — Ariana Grande, despite all the records she's breaking and awards she's won, is growing more and more disappointing.
From a vocal standpoint, Ariana is a phenomenal singer. Her range, tone, pitch — everything, really — is amazing, even in her live performances. I'm not here to criticize her vocal abilities since those have only improved, if anything. Her music, however, is another subject.
Ariana is capable of flawlessly singing like Whitney Houston, and yet she chooses to sing the poppiest of pop music. When her album "sweetener" came out, she at least had wonderful harmonies and note ranges in the songs, which showed she has great potential and ability.
When I heard that her new album "thank u, next" was coming out, I was hopeful that she'd really shine as a vocalist this time. But it seems that ship has sailed.
Even putting vocals aside, the lyrics of her newer music are trying so hard to be pop-ish it's cringe-worthy. "imagine" was possibly the only song on her new album that really showed her vocal abilities, and it was ruined by the inappropriately casual and slang-like lyrics. Phrases like "get in the car like skrrt" and "click click click and post" completely clash with the tone of the song and ruin it.
Maybe you'd make the argument, "What's wrong with Ariana making pop music?" but my counterargument is simple. Imagine if Whitney Houston herself had put out a song with vocals like "7 rings" or with lyrics like "imagine." Doesn't it seem very out of place for such a talented vocalist?
Artists like Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, and Avril Lavigne all matured musically over time and released more soulful, vocally-appropriate, and lyrically meaningful music. Evidently, Ariana has gone in the opposite direction.