Ariana Grande’s fourth studio album is here, and the 25-year-old pop star has had a pretty tumultuous album cycle. She’s released three songs from it already: the omnipresent “No Tears Left To Cry,” plus “God Is A Woman” and the Nicki Minaj-featuring “The Light Is Coming.”
Many of the headlines surrounding its release were taken up by Grande’s extracurriculars, namely her whirlwind breakup with Mac Miller and subsequent engagement to Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson. Grande isn’t shying away from that narrative either — there’s a song on Sweetener named after the comedian, for Pete’s sake (sorry) — but the songs are what counts, and Sweetener looks to be one of Grande’s sharpest collections yet.
In her Fader cover story, Grande characterized the album as such: “Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it.” It’s her first album since last year’s terrorist attack at Grande’s concert in Manchester, which left 22 dead and 500 injured. She worked on the album with Pharrell and Max Martin, who each produced a significant chunk of the songs, and there are additional production credits from Tommy Brown, Savan Kotecha, and Ilya. Guest spots include Pharrell, Nicki Minaj, and Missy Elliott.
Listen to Sweetener below.
Sweetener is out now via Republic.