Sweetener (song)

Last updated
"Sweetener"
Song by Ariana Grande
from the album Sweetener
ReleasedAugust 17, 2018
Recorded2016
Studio MXM (Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length3:28
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Pharrell Williams
Sweetener chronology
"God Is a Woman"
(5)
"Sweetener"
(2018)
"Successful"
(7)

"Sweetener" is a song by American singer Ariana Grande from her fourth studio album of the same name, released in 2018. It was written by Grande and Pharrell Williams, who also produced the track. Lyrically it contains messages of care free and empowerment.

Ariana Grande American singer, songwriter and actress

Ariana Grande-Butera is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She began her career in 2008 in the Broadway musical 13, before playing the role of Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series Victorious from 2010 to 2013, and in the spinoff Sam & Cat from 2013 to 2014. Grande made her first musical appearance on the soundtrack for Victorious and was signed to Republic Records in 2011 after music executive Monte Lipman came across one of her YouTube videos covering songs.

<i>Sweetener</i> (album) 2018 studio album by Ariana Grande

Sweetener is the fourth studio album by American singer Ariana Grande. It was released on August 17, 2018, through Republic Records. The album is the follow-up to her 2016 studio album, Dangerous Woman, and features guest appearances from Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott.

Pharrell Williams American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer

Pharrell Lanscilo Williams is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. Williams and Chad Hugo comprise the record production duo The Neptunes, producing hip hop and R&B music. He is the lead vocalist of the band N*E*R*D, that he formed with Hugo and childhood friend, Shay Haley. He released his first solo single, "Frontin'", in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album, In My Mind, in 2006. His second album, Girl, was released in March 2014 and included the commercially successful single, "Happy". As part of the Neptunes, Williams has produced numerous singles for various recording artists.

Contents

Background and release

Pharrell Williams (pictured in 2016) co-wrote and produced the track. "Hidden Figures" Screening at NMAAHC (NHQ201612140033) (cropped).jpg
Pharrell Williams (pictured in 2016) co-wrote and produced the track.

It was written by Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams who also handled the production. Grande's vocals were recorded by Sam Holland and Noah Passovoy at MXM Studios in Los Angeles, California, with Jeremy Lertola providing recording engineer assistance. [3] Phill Tan mixed the track, and Josh Cadwin was the audio engineer, [3] with Andrew Coleman and Mark Larson as the recording engineer. Randy Merrill later mastered the song at Sterling Sound in New York City, New York. [3]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Audio mixing (recorded music) audio mixing to yield recorded sound

In sound recording and reproduction, audio mixing is the process of combining multitrack recordings into a final mono, stereo or surround sound product. These tracks that are blended together are done so by using various processes such as equalization and compression. Audio mixing techniques and approaches can vary widely, and due to the skill-level or intent of the mixer, can greatly affect the qualities of the sound recording.

The song was first teased in Grande's "No Tears Left to Cry" music video, along with other songs. [4] [5] [6] [7] Grande posted a picture of herself listening to the song on her instagram story. [8] On July 21, 2018, a paparazzi leaked a snippet of Grande playing the song in her car, later that day Grande confirmed the snippet on her Twitter. [9] [10]

No Tears Left to Cry 2018 single by Ariana Grande

"No Tears Left to Cry" is a song by American singer Ariana Grande from her fourth studio album, Sweetener (2018). Written by Grande, Savan Kotecha and its producers Max Martin and Ilya, it was released by Republic Records as the album's lead single on April 20, 2018, alongside its music video. The song is a dance-pop and disco song with a UK garage beat.

Instagram Online photo-sharing and social networking service

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS. A version for Android devices was released a year and half later, in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, and apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively.

Twitter micro-blogging Internet service

Twitter is an American online news and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service (SMS) or its mobile-device application software ("app"). Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world.

Composition and lyrics

"Sweetener" runs for a total duration of three minutes and twenty-eight seconds. [11] The song was the first Grande wrote for Sweetener. [12] Lyrically, the song talks about self care and empowerment while she sings directly for her lover. It contains double entendres in the song as well. [13] According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Universal Music Publishing Group, the song is composed in the key of E Major with a tempo of 120 beats per minute. Grande's vocals range from the note of F♯3 to D5. [14]

The term empowerment refers to measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights. Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognize and use their resources. To do work with power.

Universal Music Publishing Group American music publishing company

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is a North American music publishing company and is part of the Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi Group. It was formerly known as MCA Music Publishing until its mother company Seagram was dismantled.

In music theory, the key of a piece is the group of pitches, or scale, that forms the basis of a music composition in classical, Western art, and Western pop music.

The New York Times 's Jon Pareles wrote, "The sacred-secular juxtapositions continue in the title song, a Pharrell Williams production that switches between gospelly piano chords — as Ms. Grande praises how her man can 'bring the bitter taste to a halt' — and more dissonant hip-hop as she enjoys how 'you make me say 'oh!''." [15] Taylor Weatherby of Billboard called the song "'90s-inspired". [16] The Guardian 's Alexis Petridis said, "the title track offers a bizarre, gripping splice of earthy Carole King-ish singer-songwriter piano ballad with Migos-inspired hip-hop, complete with onomatopoeic vocal interjections". [1] Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlantic said the song "gutsily blends the sensibilities of commencement speeches with that of Lil Pump". [17]

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

Jon Pareles is an American journalist who is the chief popular-music critic in the arts section of The New York Times.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

Critical reception

Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone called the song a "bouncy, almost wickedly catchy highlight" on the album. [18] In his review of the album, NME 's Douglas Greenwood wrote, "There's a telling audacity to the title track. Arriving midway through the album, 'Sweetener' sees Grande sing effervescently about 'letting the sweetener in our hearts' to 'bring that bitterness to a halt', before she ushers in a trap breakdown thats sounds like Metro Boomin messing with The Little Mermaid soundtrack." [19] Chris DeVille of Stereogum said, "The title track is the sort of modernized throwback soul tune Meghan Trainor might release, but rendered tastefully and produced with the detail-rich minimalism of Spoon's Kill the Moonlight." [2]

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

<i>NME</i> British weekly music journalism magazine

New Musical Express (NME) is a British music journalism website and former magazine that has been published since 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart, in the edition of 14 November 1952. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music newspaper. During the period 1972 to 1976, it was particularly associated with gonzo journalism, then became closely associated with punk rock through the writings of Julie Burchill, Paul Morley and Tony Parsons. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s and 1990s, changing from newsprint in 1998.

Stereogum is a daily Internet publication that focuses on music news, song premieres, and irreverent commentary. The site was created in January 2002 by Scott Lapatine.

Pitchfork ranked it on its 100 best songs of 2018 list, saying that "amid the track’s svelte production — trickling percussion, cushy bass hits, a lusty and cascading synth line — Pharrell punctuates Grande’s commands with a high-pitched “sheesh!” like a steam whistle cutting through the air. It all adds up to a gleeful evocation of sensuality on an album consumed with the heady pleasures of new love. “Sweetener” carries a tender streak, too, embracing the notion of finding the good in so much bad, and toasting to the people in one’s life who encourage such perseverance. It embodies that same look-on-the-bright-side universality — a reminder that even the worst feelings can be turned into something radiant and nourishing." [20]

Commercial performance

The song debuted on September 1, 2018 at number 55 at its peak position, being Grande's second highest-charting non-single in the US. [21] After "Breathin" was released as the third single off Sweetener , it became Grande's highest-charting non-single in the US, later beaten by "Needy".

Live performances

Grande debuted the song live at The Sweetener Sessions.[ citation needed ]

Charts

Chart (2018)Peak
position
Australia (ARIA) [22] 43
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) [23] 44
France (SNEP) [24] 183
Hungary (Single Top 40) [25] 20
Ireland (IRMA) [26] 15
Netherlands (Single Top 100) [27] 77
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [28] 40
Portugal (AFP) [29] 57
Scotland (Official Charts Company) [30] 61
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [31] 96
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) [32] 22
US Billboard Hot 100 [33] 55

See also

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References

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