Ariana Grande Proves Herself On Dangerous Woman

Ariana Grande Proves Herself On Dangerous Woman

Don't let the bunny ears fool you; the singer's newest album is a force to be reckoned with

Don't let the bunny ears fool you; the singer's newest album is a force to be reckoned with

Text: William Defebaugh

"Ain't you ever seen a princess be a bad bitch?"

So asks Ariana Grande on her new album, Dangerous Woman, released today. The query is posed on "Bad Decisions"—one of the album's outstanding oeuvres—and speaks to the thematic shift in focus we've seen from the singer this year. Following in the footsteps of a long lineup of child stars turned pop performers before her, the question can be read as more of a declaration, that the singer has, at long last, shed her good girl Nickelodeon image.

Of course, this moment was precipitated by numerous signs from the singer throughout the last twelve months in the very public arena (let's not forget the infamous donut-gate, in which the young star made headlines for shouting anti-American remarks reportedly following her wisdom teeth surgery). The mark of a true media mastermind, Grande changed the conversation, turning her rapidly evolving reputation into something fruitful. Dangerous even.

This shift was first evidenced by the release of the album's artwork, which showed the singer referencing one of famed fashion photographer Helmut Newton's most iconic images of Elsa Peretti in a bunny costume—as well as the music videos for its early singles, including the title track, for which the pop princess finally let go of her protective pony and let her long mane down.

Antics and aesthetics aside, the singer's newfound maturity is most clearly demonstrated in the music itself, complete with towering choruses, a carefully curated list of guest artists (Nicki Minaj on "Side To Side"; Lil Wayne on "Let Me Love You"; Future on "Everyday"), and of course, Grande's greatest weapon: her show-stopping voice. With catchy hooks, soaring vocals, and irresistible beats, two of the album's early tracks, "Be Alright" and "Into You," might just be the singer's strongest songs to date.

“I feel like I’m still just getting started—a lot of people forget I’m only three years in,” Grande tells Billboard in a recent interview. If the artist has proven anything with Dangerous Woman, it's exactly that; the princess of pop's reign has only just begun.

Listen to Dangerous Woman below.

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