REVIEW: Ariana Grande 'Yours Truly' Full Album Snippets Released on iTunes, 'Sam & Cat' Star Proves She Can Balance Youth, Adult Audience on Debut Album [VIDEOS]

By Carolyn Menyes (c.menyes@gmail.com) | Aug 20, 2013 03:46 PM EDT
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Yours Truly, Ariana Grande
(Photo : Wiki Commons) Ariana Grande's debut album "Yours Truly" is a strong debut from the Nickelodeon star, proving to be one of 2013's best records.

Ariana Grande's debut solo album "Yours Truly" will hit record story shelves and iTunes on Sept. 3 in the United States, and fans are already anxious to hear the entire record from the "The Way" singer. Though four songs have been heard in full: "The Way" (feat. Mac Miller), "Baby I," "Right There" (feat. Big Sean) and "Almost Is Never Enough" (feat. Nathan Sykes), much of the album has remained a mystery excepting short snippets released on Grande's Instagram account.

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Now, two weeks before "Yours Truly" is due out, snippets of each track from the album can be previewed on iTunes. The 90-second snippets deserve snippet-y reviews.

Here are the first impressions of each song from Ariana Grande's "Yours Truly."

1. "Honeymoon Avenue" - The first song off a debut album is an important stepping stone for the rest of the record. "Honeymoon Avenue" seems to indicate that as opposed to upbeat pop numbers, "Yours Truly" will be an album full of pure R&B anthems. Though there are pickups in the pre-chorus, the rest of "Honeymoon Avenue" is full of finger snaps, breathy vocals and powerful runs, proving that at just 20 years old, Grande is fully capable of making an adult album.

2. "Baby I" - The second song from "Yours Truly" is coincidentally the second single. There's little to say about this stomper that hasn't been said already, but Grande surely establishes herself as the next Mariah Carey here.


3. "Right There," feat. Big Sean - The song fans get when they pre-order "Yours Truly" on iTunes, "Right There" features Grande's power vocals, with strains in the chorus. The comparison of the beat to Lil Jon's "Snap Yo Fingers" still can't be ignored, but "Right There" adds an element of '90s R&B to the previous two tracks, which are more modern R&B.

4. "Tattooed Heart" - The piano of this track brings to mind shuffling '50s doo-wop beats. Grande croons about an intense, permanent love. The backing vocals constantly singing "tattooed heart" mixed with the instrumentation gives this song a young, puppy love feeling, even though the intensity of the relationship is well beyond that. Though "Yours Truly" is a mostly mature debut, this song shows off Grande's youth.

5. "Lovin' It" - No, this song is not an ode to McDonald's. Instead "Lovin' It" finally ups the energy and the tempo, with rushing snares and speedy vocals from Grande, bragging about how she spends all her time loving her baby. Though Grande falls slightly back into comfortable territory during the verses, five tracks in, "Lovin' It" is the most banging track on "Yours Truly."

6. "Piano" - It seems as though the center of the album is where "Yours Truly" really picks up. Though the song title would indicate that this track would be a simple, acoustic ballad, "Piano" is yet another poppy fun love song and features full instrumentation that just oozes of hope and happiness. This song is sure to become a favorite with Grande's younger female fanbase.

7. "Daydreamin'" - Feeling similar to "Tattooed Heart" in sweetness and in the '50s-vibes, "Daydreamin'" is yet another innocent love song with Grande yearning for an unreachable dream love. It feels like a Sandy song from "Grease" in a way, with the perfect blend of pure love and youth.

8. "The Way," feat. Mac Miller - The lead single from "Yours Truly" is tucked in to the back half of the album but it still manages to stand out from the crowd. The most modern track on the record, "The Way" still perfectly blends R&B influences from yesterday and today to create what became a top 10 smash hit.


9. "You'll Never Know" - Featuring a variety of electronic jangles and upbeat happy drumbeats, "You'll Never Know" is the frontrunner for the most dance-friendly song on "Yours Truly," surpassing earlier tracks easily. It still feels incredibly old school, but "You'll Never Know" brings '90s R&B into a musical landscape where fans can be nostalgic while listening to new music.

10. "Almost Is Never Enough," feat. Nathan Sykes - Unlike "Piano," which has quite the misleading title, "Almost Is Never Enough" is where the soft acoustic ballad finally comes into play. Released yesterday (Aug. 19) as a promotion for the new "The Mortal Instruments" movie, "Almost Is Never Enough" is a heartbreaking love song, wherein Grande and The Wanted's Sykes trade off vocals effortlessly.

11. "Popular Song," feat. MIKA - Originally included on Mika's third studio album "The Origin of Love," "Popular Song" maintains its sunshine-y outlook on life. Full of happy jokes, "Popular Song" differs greatly from the rest of the content on "Yours Truly" and takes on high school popularity, playing off the "Wicked" track "Popular."'


12. "Better Left Unsaid" - Grande returns to form and finishes off "Yours Truly" with a blast of vocal power, crooning "Some things are better left unsaid" with a terrifying amount of force. The track then takes on a straight party atmosphere in an interesting twist, as dance beats and a voice calling for listeners to party chimes in. It's perhaps the most uneven track on "Yours Truly," and perhaps would've been better as a simple ballad instead of trying to make Grande an EDM artist.

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