Guest Reviewer: Brian Helms
Ariana Grande’s first musical project has finally come to its release date, and boy does she show a love of R&B with it. With the singles preceding the release of Yours Truly came a lot of comparisons to the young talent's favourite songbird, Mrs. Mariah Carey. With good reason too, as the young songstress can definitely sing. However, does the rest of the album continue to warrant these comparisons, or do we finally hear more of the artist’s individuality coming to the fore?
The reality is, it's a bit of both scenarios. The songs tend to be a frustrating listen to anyone searching for individuality from Ariana, as they house characteristics of both Ariana and her inspirations. The vocal stylings that lie within most of the album's twelve tracks are all too reminiscent of Mariah to this listener, and the excessive use of the whistle register is slightly irksome- being quite uncreative and repetitive.
However, songs like Honeymoon Avenue and Daydreamin’ that though still exhibit a Mariah-esque vocal, do temper it with a more “Broadway” style. It’s a smart move that showcases Ariana's background as a Broadway performer, but more interestingly offers a potentially, more individualistic, direction the singer could take with her music.
Overall this album is a good first musical attempt from Ariana. It’s loaded with catchy hits and vocal ballads, all of which mix together to form a good complete work of art.
Diva Devotee's Thoughts:
Hearing Yours Truly, I’m left with this immediate impression: this has got to be one of the lightest, fluffiest and sincerest album I’ve heard in a long while. Yes, Brian is spot on by saying the album comes strong with the Rnb influences- notably of the 90's kind which liked to build the bones of a track around a sample (hear: Baby, I , The Way, Lovin’ It and Right Here )- but it’s unashamedly a pop album through and through.
After the first listen of the album I almost find it impossible to dislike, and despite the Mariah influences both vocally and musically- Ariana herself called the Diva a "Queen" –Yours Truly is a consistent album no one should deride or avoid because of its influences. Besides, whereas Mariah Carey’s début came with a depth that belied her years- she was barely out of her teens- Ariana’s début actually plays to her youth; with a playlist full of fun, energy and an innocent exuberance for life- even at its "lowest" musical ebb, as in Honeymoon Avenue.
In a world where everyone seems to take themselves too seriously, have to come with a gimmick , and/or be controversial, Ariana Grande’s début comes as a God send. Yours Truly is an album with no pretence; just an honest love of a certain era of music and singing-idol being its unashamed influence.And I admire it and Ariana for that.