Pharrell gets knocked down once again. #84 ☁️ BLAZED ☁️ (FT. PHARRELL) 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.