☁️Imagine A Rate Like That☁️ - The Ariana Grande Rate: a double winner makes it a hat-trick! | Page 56 | The Popjustice Forum

☁️Imagine A Rate Like That☁️ - The Ariana Grande Rate: a double winner makes it a hat-trick!

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by savilizabeths, Jan 27, 2020.


What's your favourite Ariana Grande album?

  1. Yours Truly

  2. My Everything

  3. Dangerous Woman

  4. Sweetener

  5. thank u, next

  6. positions

  1. Pharrell gets knocked down once again.



    ☁️ BLAZED ☁️

    Average: 6.291

    Look at you, love, you are the same
    You have a light you cannot hide
    Yes, you may have a different face
    But your soul is the same inside

    High: 10x1 (@ysev) 9.5x1 (@pop3blow2) 9x3 (@WhatKindOfKylie? @happiestgirl @Music Is Life) 8.5x2 (@japanbonustrack @Petit nain des Îles) 8x10 (@savilizabeths @DJHazey @junkos @BreatheBox @Espeon @aux @Robsolete @Wired Life @Mirwais Ahmadzaï @citoig)
    Low: 0x1 (@SlowGinFizzzz) 1x1 (@AbCF15) 2.25x1 (@andrewdarwitan) 3x4 (@myblood @slaybellz @Laurence @Endothelium) 3.5x1 (@Mushroom) 4x6 (@2014 @Holly Something @Ugly Beauty @elektroxx @138Prince @superultra)
    Total Points: 459.25
    My Score: 8/10

    Another divisive bop falls. This time it's Sweetener's 'Blazed', featuring the infamously disliked Pharrell. While Pharrell produced a large chunk of the album, this is the only song he has a true feature on. I've seen plenty of negativity towards this song on Popjustice, so imagine my surprise when it had more fans than I expected. It seems it's a grower. The song has a definite 2000s throwback feel with percussion heavy production and catchy hooks. Lyrically it focusses on new love and holding onto it, with Ariana seemingly in awe of finding this person. It's quite sweet actually, though the hook doesn't really have anything to do with the songs main themes. We still stan.

    At least we should. Yes, I like this song! I kinda always have if you discount my first listen or two. There's something endearing about it. Perhaps it's....magnetic demenour? Oof, bad joke. Regardless, it's a fun little bop that I don't think deserves the hate it gets. I understand that a lot of that hate is towards Pharrell and his contribution, or perhaps just his existence. He certainly doesn't seem well liked. But I actually like him here, both in production and even vocal performance. Yes, his vocals always sound kind of choked, as if he's got a bubble in his throat. But like I said, it's endearing. Of course, paired with Ariana he definitely can't hold his own. She sounds lovely. So light, airy and effortless. It's such a simple vocal peformance for her and it works perfectly for the song. You'd think the pairing would just be embarrassing (for Pharrell, of course) but they just sound like they're having fun. If he was singing next to Ariana delivering a powerful, belting vocal then it wouldn't work. It's much more lowkey than that though, so it does work.

    I also like the production. Sometimes Pharrell is doing too much with his choices (the sample on 'the light is coming' or the weird breathing on 'REM') but he keeps it pretty simple here. The percussion line drives the entire song, with other supporting production elements swooping in for the less minimalistic moments. My favourite is the plucky bassline on the verses! It's understated yet it really stands out to me. As usual, I also really love Ariana's harmonies. I love how the chorus is elevated by that one little harmonised 'dreaming'. I love how the first pre-chorus is just multilayred vocals in the same key but the second time introduces some gorgeous harmonic lines. It gives the song some build, which keeps it from being too repetitive. Which it definitely can be at times. I suppose that's the biggest criticism. It's not the most exciting track and can become dull pretty quickly. Despite liking it a lot, I don't exactly return to it frequently. It's far from an Ariana essential, but it does bop.

    I also think the middle 8 is....not that great. Eh.

    It seems 'Blazed' inspired a fair amount of commentary, so we should get started. @DJHazey (8) is saying 'yes' to Pharrell: "It was actually Pharrell's contributions that somehow turned this from a "no thanks" on day one to "okay, this is low-key a bop" after a few plays." This is me! I kinda really like his chorus. A lot. @superultra (4) references one of my favourite Ari bops: "I pretend I do not hear it. We wanted more of “Greedy,” not… this. (Jokes aside, the song has grown on me, not unlike a rash.)" Shit, now I just want to listen to 'Greedy'. What a euphoric track! @Petit nain des Îles (8.5) makes a reference to an album I've purposefully never listened to: "This is very The 20/20 Experience Part 2, which I realize isn't a particularly welcomed comparison on here, but this really do sound like a recycled song despite Pharrell having no input (?) in the aforementioned album. I still like this by the way, I just wish this didn't remind me so much of Justin Timberlake." I may not have heard that album in it's entirety but god, this does sound very Justin Timberlake-esque. Hm. @pop3blow2 (9.5) prefers this to another divisive Ari track: "You know what ‘Focus’ tried to accomplish & failed miserably at? Well, this song pretty much succeeds on all the levels that one failed on." Okay, we don't agree here. 'Focus' is better. I'm gonna say it. @138Prince (4) gives a light compliment: "Lite bop." It bops harder than a 4, but that's just me.

    @chrismoyer is bored: "It’s experimental! It’s not bad as people make it out to be, it’s just an ok song. I like Pharell’s production, I think it’s more I find it boring after a while like Ariana sounds bored on it." I don't think she sounds bored, just lowkey and chill. @Milotic (7.5) had a change of heart, mostly: "I remember not liking this on my first album playthrough, but it seems I've warmed up to it cause I was bopping just a bit. Despite Pharrell being featured here, I feel like his presence is felt less here than other songs. But it's still a bit redundant." I completely agree with the Pharrell thing. Even though he's actually vocally featured here, his influence feels less. Which is definitely a good thing. @daninternational (7) has a failing memory: "Better than I remembered, but still feels out of place." I can't really argue with that. @Cutlery (7) isn't offended, but isn't exactly a fan: "Kinda stale, kinda cute. As per usual, Ariana's performance elevates it. It gets the job done without being offensive to the ears." Sorry for no pun this time! @Ana Raquel (7.5) can't understand the haters: "This is FAR from being one of her worst tracks or sth. It's good. She has way worse and less interesting songs on Sweetener itself. After all this time, I still don't get the super hate it got when it was released." Amen!

    Pharrell gets some hate from @RUNAWAY (7): "I don’t hate this song. I just hate Pharrell. Why would she waste all that goodwill she gained with Dangerous Woman and have him produce half her album...with those tired ass beats. I just don’t understand it." Honestly, I don't get it either. I may like the song but I wouldn't be upset if it didn't exist and we had a better album. Our two lowest scorers shared opinions. @AbCF15 (1) is confused: "I don't understand this song and I really don't understand its placement on the album either!" I really can't help you there. And @SlowGinFizzzz (0) believes in the devil: "This song is proof enough for me to know that the devil exists. What an absolute atrocity!" Whoa. Such a simple song inspired that much hatred? Are you okay? And let's end with my fave @Music Is Life (where are you? Be active in my thread you whore! xoxo) who shares some positivity as usual: "This is a bop and y’all do too much on it. It’s really fun to dance to actually. The beat gets me shaking my ass faster than you can say “we can get blazed.” Pharrell is kind of annoying on it in places, but it could be worse, and in other spots he’s actually pretty good. The verses are really catchy as well. A bop, that shouldn’t be track two on the album, but certainly deserves its place here." One day when we finally meet in person, we'll shake our asses to this together then. It'll be iconic!

    Aaaand we're done. We've kicked another Pharrell track out. Did we make the wrong choice? Did another one deserve to go first or should this have fallen five spots ago? Come back next time when a certain album finally falls. But with which song? I love you all very much! Stay super safe and, if you can, get blazed.

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  2. The Pharrell tracks on Sweetener are some of the most unfairly hated things on this forum, I swear. How did Blazed leave before shit like Leave Me Lonely and Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart?
  3. Hope you gals are ready for the next collab!

  4. It's almost like the Pharrell hate borders on...


  5. Farewell my fallen comrade. I'll never letchu, never letchu... go.
    Crisp X, ysev, nikkysan and 1 other person like this.
  6. No! I loved Blazed, one of the most instant tracks on sweetener. Still, there's plenty of better stuff that could have been eliminated all the same, so can still deal with it going.
    savilizabeths likes this.
  7. Finally we're starting to chip away at some of my sub 5 scores.
    138Prince and savilizabeths like this.
  8. Your girl just finished a book for the first time in about two years so she's feeling good and ready to eliminate a mediocre track!!
  9. Finally, our last section to lose a track...My Everything.



    ☁️ TOO CLOSE ☁️

    Average: 6.332

    Remember that girl
    That you used to date?
    She with my ex-boyfriend
    That's great
    So, what would you do?
    What would you say?
    If I said I loved you?
    That way?

    High: 10x1 (@RUNAWAY) 9x2 (@Music Is Life @Petit nain des Îles) 8.5x2 (@slaybellz @OspreyQueen) 8x9 (@soratami @Aester @pop3blow2 @happiestgirl @Ugly Beauty @livefrommelbs @Wired Life @138Prince @Vixen)
    Low: 2.5x1 (@andrewdarwitan) 3x1 (@Blond) 3.5x1 (@Serg.) 4x4 (@Sprockrooster @reputation. @blaze_dave @sapnu puas) 4.5x2 (@chrismoyer @2014)
    Total Points: 462.25
    My Score: 5/10

    It took longer than I would have liked, but My Everything finally takes it's first hit as we lose 'Too Close'. Released as a bonus track on the Target edition of the album, you can also find 'Too Close' on Apple Music but apparently not Spotify. Guess I chose the right streaming service, hm? The production feels very 90s and the lyrics center on the electric chemistry between Ari and the boy she's talking about. It's about how they've been friends for such a long time but have obvious feelings for each other. Nothing too revolutionary for Ariana.

    I suppose that sentence kind of sums up this entire thing. It's nothing revolutionary. A typical bonus track in the vein of 'Step On Up', though obviously the vibes are very different. 'Too Close' is less campy Moulin Rouge-pop and more pop/R&B with an electronic, percussion heavy beat, finger snaps and synths. It's a fun throwaway song. Fun to dance to for a minute but easily forgettable the next. The voting panel seems to agree considering almost all of the scores were somewhere in the mid-range. Nobody seemed to have any strong opinions, good or bad. Expect a short commentary section on this one.

    I'm all about looking for positives though, so what can we say about 'Too Close'? It's definitely catchy and I keep finding myself singing along absentmindedly. When I listen to it I always tend to have it stuck in my head for around half an hour afterwards. I also think the lyrics are actually pretty decent here. I like the story they're telling, even if it's nothing overly special. Unlike some other previously eliminated songs, I feel like there's something here lyrically to grab onto. I prefer at least some narrative to a bunch of vaguely related lines thrown together to some epic production. This may just be me, because I'm a writer and lyrics are especially important to me. Perhaps that's why I'm such a fan of ballads. The highlighted lyric at the top of this post is my favourite, if only for Ariana's delivery of the line "She's with my ex-boyfriend, that's great." I don't know what it is but I love the way she sings this. She also hits some vocal sweet spots here where she just sounds airily gorgeous, particularly in the pre-chorus. As you can see, there are definitely some positives here.

    I just don't like the production very much. I love a good 90s vibe, who doesn't? But this production sounds a bit flat and dated to me. The background 'all my ladies' chant especially doesn't click with me. It makes the mix sound too busy. The best parts are when the production is kept more simple. Mostly the verses and pre-chorus. Everything else jsut doesn't do it for me and this song just isn't something I come back to very often.

    Commentary panel, it's your turn! Beginning with @chrismoyer (4.5) who always seems to find away to be positive in his comments, which I love: "I like this one, I like the “All my ladies, make noise!” Underrated." I love how you like a part I don't like. Iconic friendship. In a relatable moment, @reputation. (4) experiences memory less: "I legit forgot that this song existed." You and me both. At least most of the time. @daninternational (6.5) has some solid critique: "Pick a tempo and stick to it, Ariana." She will not! @138Prince (8) has me scrolling into the YouTube comments: "All I can think of is the bad enunciation “lyrics” in the comments on that Youtube video. Bop tho! Underrated bop." I CAN'T FIND THEM! I WANNA LAUGH! Am I on the wrong video???

    The good sis @Milotic (5) could be talking about me after I eat an entire pizza by myself: "Honestly, I can see why these last two were extras. I feel like this sound has been done better on the album already. Too much bloat." I completely agree with you. God, I hate how long My Everything is. @Petit nain des Îles (9), like me, loves a good key change: "This is so 90's, and I was close to expecting a TLC-y rap part! Especially appreciate the key change in the way too short prechorus." That's my favourite part too! My fave @Music Is Life comes out as a 'Bang Bang' stan: "I forgot how much of a bop this is. Really enjoyable, maybe my favorite bonus track for this album, besides Bang Bang oop." The only correct favourite My Everything bonus track is 'Only 1' thank you very much. And finally, our highest scorer, @RUNAWAY (10) who says: "The Mariah ripoff excellence. We stan." Since you're the only one who handed out a 10, perhaps we don't stan. But I agree that we should. It may not be a revolutionary bop, but I'd say it bops.

    And that's it. A shorter post today (if THIS is what I consider a short post....jesus guys, I'm so sorry.) It's the final bow for 'Too Close'. What My Everything track will fall next, and when? I bet @DJHazey is happy with how his favourite album is faring. Congrats to you. I'll see you all soon when we'll be eliminating the original losing song. Until then, stay safe and I love you!

  10. This is the kind of more old-school R&B direction I'd love her to use as a template next, but perhaps that wouldn't be wise as people are going to tank the songs anyway.

  11. blazed underrated get rid of break up
    Esprit, Music Is Death, ysev and 3 others like this.
  12. Finally.

    (Also your comment next to my quote dddd)
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
    Crisp X and savilizabeths like this.
  13. I... don't remember this lol let me relisten
  14. borderline AND Jason's Song out?

    Also... this are the lyrics in the youtube comment "lol"
    savilizabeths likes this.
  15. I’m screaming dddd
    138Prince likes this.
  16. Neither do I!
    SophiaSophia and savilizabeths like this.
  17. We love memory loss!
  18. "blazed" is underrated.

    nikkysan, Milotic, Laurence and 3 others like this.
  19. Okay but when is the songleakz/Only Fire rate coming?
    eatyourself, OspreyQueen, rdp and 2 others like this.
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