ALBUM REVIEW: Ariana Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman’

Ariana Grande wears a few different hats in ‘Dangerous Woman’ and luckily none are latex bunny ears.

 

I had a few reservations approaching Ariana Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman’ considering that I was a bigger fan of “Focus” and the aesthetic she was previewing with that song over “Dangerous Woman.” And maybe she was right about changing the direction of the album… If its opening track “Moonlight” (former title and direction of this album) offers any glimpse about it. The song is an utter bore. It is cute, but I feel like I’ve heard her do these dreamy fifties doo-wop songs too many times along with that damn ponytail of hers.

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Ariana Grande shows off her “moon” tattoo as a tribute to her track “Moonlight.” And much like its effect on myself, the song seems to have her eyes heavy and head bobbing back from fighting sleep.

She follows “Moonlight” with “Dangerous Woman” and we’ve all heard it and moved on from it. So after that is “Be Alright” which is actually a really delightful song that’s also been available for a while. “Into You” is the first track that really captured my attention for the album. It begins with a budding beat as she intercepts with an assuring whisper, “I’m so into you // I can barely breathe.” Claps and other elements are softly introduced with precise timing until she reaches the song’s ultra-catchy and dance-provoking chorus. The song is one of the standouts from the album.

Ariana Grande makes a questionable creative decision to bring an island sound to her collaboration with Nicki Minaj Side To Side.” It’s not a very interesting or great song. And Nicki’s participation feels more like a cheap stand-in for Rihanna, who could have really validated this track. Another collaboration follows with “Let Me Love You.” Lil Wayne is on the track which actually sums up the delinquency of this track; It sounds horribly dated (bad side of 2008-ish).

Greedy” would be better placed after “Focus” than here behind the uncomfortably stale Lil Wayne collaboration. It’s still a fun track though. I was really surprised when I finally made it to her unexpected collaboration with Macy Gray. “Leave Me Lonely” is the single-best ballad of the album. And the song perfectly executes a smokey jazz club singer vibe for which Ariana always shoots for but rarely hits. Macy Gray painfully coos, “Dangerous love // your no good for me” and I was immediately impressed.

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The next few tracks (Everyday, Sometimes, I Don’t Care and Bad Decisions) kind of flatline. And just as I was thinking of quitting and giving myself a break from the album — a bright shining moment happens….. “Touch It” is possibly the best song Ariana Grande’s ever recorded. It is almost a refined, and better, second-take of “Dangerous Woman” and sees Ariana’s lyrics and vocals in a more off-kilter, uncontrolled and powerful way. All of these elements are what I felt DW was missing. For the first time her vocals had some grit and pain to give the conviction her voice has always lacked. The entire production is a bouncing but perfectly balanced explosion of R&B, electro-synth and dynamic/unpredictable melodies. The song bests the entire albums offerings. I will be playing it till the end of time.

‘Dangerous Woman’ is not an entirely solid or cohesive project but there are a handful of songs that would make the dive into it worth the commitment to its lengthy 55-minute listen.

Buy Ariana Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman’ album now on iTunes and in stores! You can also stream it now (below) on Spotify!

 

What are you favorite songs from the album? Let me know here or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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3 Things Britney Spears will do at the Billboard Music Awards to steal the show!

No one does a memorable awards show performance quite like BRITNEY SPEARS!

 

In just three short days, the 2016 Billboard Music Awards will air on ABC at 8PM EST. The lineup of pop diva performances is simply unheard of this decade. P!nk, Demi Lovato, Rihanna and Fifth Harmony are just a FEW of the esteemed performers (full list here) that are sure to bring relief to the drought of high-energy and extravagant pop performances that the industry has been missing. And if the return of multifaceted female pop performers to the Billboard Awards stage isn’t enough to make you drool, Britney Spears and Celine Dion will be given top honors and subsequent performances!

Celine Dion has persevered from a very difficult year already and will give a very powerful performance of the classic Queen song, “The Show Must Go On.” But it is Britney Spears who will plant the flag onstage and reclaim her rightful place on the awards show stage while setting the bar high and for what it means to be an all-encompassing-fierce-pop-diva-superstar-electrifying-smash-force to be reckoned with! OMG! [catches breath]

How do I know this? Well it’s simple and I’ll provide a quick 3-point list that will tell you what exactly Britney will do this Sunday to make the biggest impact and buzz-worthy moments at the show.

 

Here are the 3 things Britney Spears will do:

1.) SHOW UP

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Britney’s effortless talent at being the center of attention.

Britney Spears‘ presence is literally so powerful, magnetic and captivating (don’t forget; also a ratings phenomenon) that she’s a shoe-in for being the most talked about entertainer of the night by default.

2.) OPEN THE SHOW

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Britney will have prime real estate as the show’s opening number. Although the show confidently boasts no shortage of star powered performances, it’s highly doubtful any of them will top the magic that Britney possesses. tumblr_nqo0ixYsDn1u50xuco2_500

3.) MOP THE FLOOR WITH HER TALENT

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When the first beat hits during her performance it will be the moment every B-Army fan, and naysayer alike, will choke on the mediocre laurels they’ve been resting on and be blessed with the unrequited talent they’ve been too blind to ask for. Britney’s dance moves are in tip-top shape and she has the music catalog to back it up. So the T-Mobile arena on Sunday night is going to wish it had a bigger stage after she’s done with it!

The basic moral of this story: Britney Spears is going to slay the fuck out of viewers on Sunday night! 

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Now, its your civil duty as a fan of pop divas to express your love and commentary of the performances during the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night! Attend my online viewing party via Facebook to share your live reactions and opinions of the show with myself and other fans! Join below!

JOIN THE POP PYRO’S BBMA VIEWING PARTY HERE!

And make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

DEBUT: Follower Collaboration Playlist! Vol. 1

The first ever playlist collaboration has been made! The theme/question was:

“THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO.”

Yesterday I had a #QuestionOfTheDay that asked follwers of The Pop Pyro on Facebook to leave a comment of the last song by a female pop artist they listened to. I then compiled all of the responses and made a Spotify playlist so that everyone can see what each other are currently listening to! It boasts over 2.5 hours of music for your enjoyment! And naturally, it includes a large block of Britney Spears tracks. But it also includes a ton of dance hits and some delightful throwbacks! This turned out to be a great playlist to refer to when you can’t decide on what to listen to. It has everything! 

Check out and FOLLOW the playlist below!

Make sure to participate next month in my next playlist collaboration!

Follow my personal spotify account HERE to see the latest playlists from The Pop Pyro! And follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

THE QUEEN OF 2016’s FIRST QUARTER IS…

The QUEENS of Q1 2016 are:

WINNERSS
Fifth Harmony’s track “The Life” wins the Quarter 1 Song Tournament!

 

Fifth Harmony‘s song “The Life” BARELY surpassed dumblonde‘s votes, literally, in the final hour. And as I was watching the time and votes it was literally vote-for-vote between the two. Rihanna’s work didn’t fare too well on this last round but still made third place this quarter.

 

Congratulations to the girls and “The Life” for becoming my inagural Q1 winner! Keep an eye out for song premieres the next 3 months to compete in the my Q2 tournament this summer! See you then.


The bracket rankings:

  1. Fifth Harmony – “The Life”

  2. dumblonde – “remember me”
  3. Rihanna – “Work”
  4. Gwen Stefani – “Make Me Like You”
  5. Iggy Azalea – “Team”
  6. Demi Lovato – “Stone Cold”
  7. Rihanna – “Kiss It Better”
  8. Adele – “When We Were Young”
  9. Fifth Harmony – “Work From Home”
  10. Selena Gomez – “Hands To Myself”
  11. Ariana Grande – “Be Alright”
  12. Sia – “Cheap Thrills”
  13. Taylor Swift – “New Romantics”
  14. Bebe Rexha – “No Broken Hearts”
  15. Ariana Grande – “Dangerous Woman”
  16. Meghan Trainor – “No”

 

Congratulations to the young women of Fifth Harmony! Pre-order their album ‘7/27‘ and get the song “The Life“instantly! Follow The Pop Pyro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let me know what you think of the queens of Q1 this year.

[TOURNAMENT] FINAL Q1 Song Battle!

VOTE for one of THREE finalists!

Only TWO votes separated Rihanna‘s “Work” from matching Fifth Harmony‘s “The Life.” And I felt that having the #1 album and #1 song on the Billboard charts this quarter deserves one more chance at the crown. So Rihanna and Fifth Harmony BOTH move on to the final song battle! dumblonde outsmarted Gwen Stefani‘s “Make Me Like You” last round with their beachy spring song “remember me.” You will only have ONE day to vote for these three songs this round! I will announce the winner tomorrow night (April 8th). VOTE-VOTE-VOTE and SHARE this poll to help your favorite song win!

 

Revisit each song before making your final decision in the poll:

Rihanna – “Work”

dumblonde – “remember me”

Fifth Harmony – “The Life”

 

 

POLLS CLOSE TOMORROW EVENING! Which song do you want to take the crown? Let me know here and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

FULL FINAL Roster

Song Premiere + #QuickListen Review: Jennifer Lopez “Ain’t Your Mama”

Boy, things are about to change ’round here.

Jennifer Lopez releases her new song “Ain’t Your Mama” ahead of her performance tonight (April 7th) on the American Idol series finale.

The track is co-written by Meghan Trainor and produced by Dr. Luke and reunites her with a contemporary sound that, much like her reused photos in the single cover from her 2003 Esquire spread, is better suited for an earlier time in her career. “Ain’t Your Mama” begins promising with a hard-hitting chorus that could have introduce a heavier urban dance track, but instead drops its energy to contemporary pop melodies through the verses. It will be interesting to see how she performs this live because the song could use the dynamics of a live band to spice up the song altogether.

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The chorus is great but the rest of it feels lazily-produced; cut-print-released; rushed to possibly to meet deadlines for the American Idol finale performance. The song aims to be a spicy/fun anthem for over-supportive women, but on first listen, not sure it entirely accomplishes that. Hopefully after the live performances, music video and hearing it a few more times might enhance the song some. But for now it’s a bit dull. Love you always, J. Lo.

Listen to the track below!

 

How do you feel about the new song? Are you excited to see her perform it on Idol? Let me know here or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

[SEMI-FINALS] The OFFICIAL Q1 Song Tournament Post

Here are your SEMI-FINALISTS!

These are the four songs with the most votes in the song tournament! The girls of Fifth Harmony take on this quarter’s heavyweight Rihanna! “Work” has been #1 for 7 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Can 5H’s buzz single “The Life” edge out Badgal’s massive hit “Work?”

Gwen Stefani stole everyone’s heart this quarter with her #1 album ‘This Is What the Truth Feels Like’ and her live music video for “Make Me Like You” which premiered (and was filmed) during the 2016 Grammy Awards. She will go up against the dark horse of the tournament, dumblonde‘s “remember me.” Can the underdog duo take on Gwen this quarter?

Here is the semi-final bracket! Vote and share the poll to help your favorite song win! VOTING CLOSES THURSDAY MORNING FOR THIS ROUND!

Full Round 3 Roster

VOTE NOW FOR THE SEMI-FINALS!

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VOTE EVERY HOUR! Let me know which songs you picked on The Pop Pyro‘s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Share the poll to help your favorite win!

#1 Spot for Pop Divas and Icons

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