Ariana Grande’s ‘My Everything’: Review Revue

She did it, Arianators: She’s finally gone and broken free.

Ariana Grande‘s highly anticipated, much-hyped second studio album My Everything is finally upon us.

After dishing out her horn-heavy summer smash “Problem” with Iggy Azalea, her EDM-tastic Zedd banger “Break Free” and “Bang Bang,” her powerhouse collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, as well as an opening performance on last night’s 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, the pint-sized pop diva’s finally ready to give us all her love on her feature-filled follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2013 debut, Yours Truly.

Our own Kathy Iandoli concluded that Ari’s new album “diminishes any theory of a sophomore curse, as Ariana delivers a solid enough work — however, it’s done with the help of many,” giving the album a four out of five. But what did the rest of the critics have to say?

:: The Observer gave the album two out of five stars, concluding that the album contents didn’t live up to the singles: “The rest of this album, caught somewhere between lovelorn lady-music and intimations of a sex life, cannot live up to the simple pleasures in the singles. Every so often, a little shard of personality pierces the sheen.”

:: Slant echoed those concerns, giving the album two out of five stars as well. “Where her expertly produced debut, Yours Truly, identified the kind of music she could excel at (big, gorgeous ballads like ‘Almost Is Never Enough’ and peppy throwaways like ‘Baby I’), the new album tries to expand her horizons with headache-inducing electro-pop and darker, edgier shades of R&B. In both lanes she sounds perfunctory and anonymous.”

:: The Guardian mirrors those sonic sentiments, awarding the album three out of five stars: “On her 2013 debut album, Yours Truly, teen-actor-turned-pop-starlet Ariana Grande established a unique, nostalgia-based beachhead, interweaving 90s R&B and 1960s girl groups. It got her to the top of the US Billboard 200 albums chart, but on the Max Martin and David Guetta-produced follow-up, My Everything, she’s plumped – oh, Grande! – for generic bangerdom.”

:: New York Daily News also gave the album three out of five, suggesting that Ariana’s talent surpasses that of the songs she was given to record: “Clearly, the run of songs on the album aims to show Grande’s range, as well as her desire to appeal to as many buyers as possible. But few of the compositions her writers and producers fashioned represent their chosen styles at their most sterling. More, the constant jerking back and forth between styles interrupts any sense of flow. As musical journeys go, this one mimics a packed crosstown bus, stopping and starting in jammed traffic. At least Grande herself never flags.”

:: Rolling Stone seemingly enjoyed the album the most of all, giving the album three-and-a-half out of five stars, and drawing a curious comparison: “”Like a Natalie Imbruglia for our more pretentious times, she’s in the zone where ‘Torn’ meets ‘Turn Down For What.'”

:: USA Today found more to love about My Everything, giving the album three out of four stars: “There’s still ample evidence of Grande’s girlish playfulness — and a sense of growing confidence, from the pumping strong-woman number ‘Break Free’ to ‘Hands On Me’, which is in the taut, teasing vein of ‘Problem’ but with more textural and rhythmic sophistication. Blending sugar and spice, Everything reaches out to everyone in Grande’s growing fan base.”

:: And finally, Digital Spy UK felt confident about Ari’s second effort (but not so much about her creative input) and gave the record four out of five stars, concluding: “There are too many big-name songwriters here to believe that she exercised complete creative control, but it takes considerable talent to front the right balance of playful pop, heartfelt sentiments and sexy sassiness with ease. Believe the title – this is Ariana’s everything, and she’s taking it right to the top.”

But now, the real verdict: What did you think about the album? Listen to the album in full below, and let us know in the comments!

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