After taking a year off in 2015 (Yours Truly dropped in 2013 and My Everything in 2014), Ariana Grande returns with her third studio album, Dangerous Woman. After “Focus” materialized in 2015, personal sentiments were that Grande was going for a similar direction to the past. “Focus” wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t career changing or far-fetched for Grande. Thankfully, we have another single to gauge what Dangerous Woman might sound like. What’s more fitting than the title track, “Dangerous Woman”?
From the jump, this is clearly different from what Grande has released up to this point – that alone bodes well in her favor. Set in six-eight meter and a minor key (E minor to be precise), “Dangerous Woman” has a throwback soul edge coupled with pop sensibilities. The sound is actually surprising, unexpected, and refreshing all in one. The pop facets of this song actually show up on the big chorus, where Grande doesn’t opt for the big notes she’s been known for (until the end, which is far game), but rather sheer power.
In regards to the song itself, it’s not a game changer. Grande certainly accomplishes ferociousness and certainly sounds a lot more dangerous than “The Way” or “Problem,” but this power joint doesn’t and won’t best those two, period. This song just doesn’t have that extra something…maybe this critic will evolve and maybe not…