☁️Imagine A Rate Like That☁️ - The Ariana Grande Rate: a double winner makes it a hat-trick! | Page 73 | 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. The evil has damn well been defeated.

  2. Dddddd miss Jessica really wasn't needed was she?
    Laurence, savilizabeths and RUNAWAY like this.
  3. Jessie really thinks she’s serving in the thumbnail for the video ddddd
  4. I'm just out here having my chaotic fun.

    Also, the first half of our first tie is coming today. It's a single. What is it?
  5. I was doing Ariana's parts <3 Gays in Asia seem to have this weird love of Jessie J (especially at karaoke) and though it leaves a bit of sick in my mouth, at least it means I don't have to fight for my role :D

    I WANNA go to karaoke too! Almost everything is opened back up here in Malaysia except my two favourite things - gay bars and karaoke :(

    Also I love the way you reply to each individual commentary. It must be SO much work but it's super cute and so inclusive ily
  6. A back to back singles elimination. Wild.



    ☁️ BOYFRIEND ☁️

    Average: 6.828

    I'm a motherfuckin' train wreck
    I don't wanna be too much
    But I don't wanna miss your touch
    And you don't seem to give a fuck

    High: 10x4 (@Sanctuary @138Prince @ysev @Music Is Life) 9.5x1 (@Ugly Beauty) 9x3 (@junkos @stoicist @RUNAWAY) 8.5x5 (@Blond @sapnu puas @andrewdarwitan @chrismoyer @dylanaber) 8x11 (@2014 @soratami @savilizabeths @Dijah. @WhatKindOfKylie? @Aester @Milotic @elektroxx @slaybellz @japanbonustrack @Butterfly @Mirwais Ahmadzaï) 7.75x1 (@Remorque)
    Low: 0x1 (@aux) 1x1 (@Laurence) 2x1 (@Hurricane Drunk) 3x4 (@lemonsqueezyy @Serg. @Robsolete @reputation.) 4x2 (@Sprockrooster @VitaminBee) 5x3 (@Wired Life @Ana Raquel @myblood)
    Total Points: 498.5
    My Score: 8/10

    There are only three ties in this entire rate, and this is one half of the first. Today we say goodbye to Ariana's post-thank u, next single, 'Boyfriend'. This song features the musical duo Social House, who wrote and produced several songs on both thank u, next and Sweetener including 'Goodnight N Go', 'NASA' and, of course, 'thank u, next' itself. This explains why the songs sound so sonically similar. 'Boyfriend' is a cute little R&B/pop track about not wanting to be with someone but not wanting them to be with anyone else either. Beautiful dysfunction.

    I know we're all thinking it (and many of you commented on it), this is essentially a thank u, next leftover. Not only that but it definitely feels like that albums title track's fraternal twin sister. Not exactly the same but similar enough that it's hard not to notice. Of course you can chalk that up to Social House having produced both songs, but that's not really an excuse. I totally get having a signature style but a production team needs to have range. You've got to have ideas, try new things and not create the musical equivalent of 'you can copy my homework but don't make it too obvious'.

    That being said, I like this song quite a bit in all of it's rehashed glory. The muted beats and R&B vibes are so chill and pleasant. The standouts for me are the melodies, lyrics and opening production. That introduction is so wonderfully warped and sounds almost off key and not pretty, but it's really cool and adds something a little different to the overly familiar track before it evens out into the smooth production. As for the melodies, I think the pre-chorus is my favourite. I love the way Ariana sings it. There's something that sounds strangely edited and both smooth yet stilted at the same time. That probably doens't make sense but I love it! Plus, her breathy delivery is great! And what an iconic opening line! "I'm a motherfucking trainwreck"?? I mean, same! Extremely quotable and grabs you immediately.

    I want to talk a little more in depth about the lyrics and narrative. I love a good song about dysfunction. During the song you get a great picture of these chaotic people and their dynamic. They've both got major issues, which at least they're self aware about. One of those issues is definitely that they're selfish. They've established that they can't be together for one reason or another, but they refuse to accept that the other one might want someone else. They're bitter and jealous and selfish. I feel like Ari's character especially falls into this. A large amount of the toxic behaviour in the lyrics comes from her side. Sure, the guy has issues but his verse kind of makes it seem like he wants to make this work. His lyrics are sweet even though he knows he's a mess. I just find the narrative of this track so fun and interesting.

    Also the music video. Truly great.

    I suppose my biggest issues are the copy+paste-ness of it all...and his voice. Why do men in collaborations like this, especially ones that are also producers, always sound so...lackluster? Is it cool to sound like you'd rather be anywhere else? Give me something! Ariana's vocals are almost always so engaging and he's just there. It's like he's half asleep in the studio reading the lyrics as he sings. There's very little feeling and I just want more. Especially for a song like this with two characters and a storyline. I guess we can't have everything.

    Not many of you had things to say, so let's hear from the ones that did. @daninternational (7.5) compares it to a different song: "Like a companion piece to break up wyg, she should've just picked one." I actually don't hear those similarities as much. @blaze_dave (6) isn't into it: "It's OK but sounds like a thank u, next leftover but not as strong." The more I listen to it the stronger I think it is, but I think I still agree with you. My sometimes rival @DJHazey (7) agrees with me here: "It's pretty good, but this Social House has one of those "I'm bored" singing styles I can't usually get into fully." Perfect description! @Ugly Beauty (9.5) is unapologetic: "I don't care what anyone says, this is a GREAT track." It is pretty fucking good. Not great for me though. Oof, @RUNAWAY (9) shades the album this could have come from: "Really love this song. It’s better than a lot of the stuff that came out of the thank u next era, and definitely a sound she should explore more often." Really? That was a fantastic album/era (with a few missteps), what???

    @Milotic (8) seems surprised: "I really like this. Which surprises me, because I've barely listened to it since it came out. Might have to change that!" I actually understand this, because I did this too. @Crisp X (7.5) finds the similarities irritating: "It annoys me how similar the chord progressions and the melodies are to thank u, next, because otherwise, there's a strong song in here. The "x nobody else" hook stands out in particular." I stand by the pre-chorus being the best part. Commentary icon @pop3blow2 (7.5) comments on the mixing: "This one has grown on me a bit, but still not a fave or something I’m gonna seek out. I do like the way they split her background vocals (‘boyfriend/‘girlfriend’) into stereo. It’s mixed really well, which sounds like a BS compliment to give a 7.5, but I do mean it." Somehow I only just noticed that. I love when songs do that!

    Our lowest scorer @aux (0) has a weird amount of hatred for such an inoffensive song: "Mawma this is garbage. Another unnecessary leftover from thank, u next." Poor it. The only 10 giver to comment is @138Prince (10) who simply says: "We love a re-hash hit!" Well, some of us *looks up at the above commentary*. And finally, @chrismoyer (8.5) has some feelings: "Love this one! It’s simple and even though it sounds very similar to both thank u, next and knew better, it’s still a solid song, I really just enjoy it. Hearing this song being played before one of the Ariana shows I went too got everyone including me hyped. I’ll never forget hearing it being played and everyone went wild, such a fun memory. My mom texted me that the curtain dropped so I STORMED out of the bathroom and ran back in and vibed to this hahah, great song!" I love that you had that experience! I also didn't notice the 'Knew Better' comparison until you pointed it out. Hmm.

    And that's that. Check back tomorrow for the second half of the tie. We may or may not be cutting more Sweetener. I love you all, stay safe and go off in the thread! You know I love that.

    soratami, Serg., OspreyQueen and 33 others like this.
  7. I have a yet to be determined karaoke + thrift shop date with a new friend so I'm really excited!!!!!

    ALSO THANK U ILY! My favourite rates have been fornatted that way so I wanted to do it too!!
  8. Those Cashmere Cat songs can go.
    DJHazey, slaybellz and savilizabeths like this.
  9. I regret not giving "boyfriend" a higher score. It is derivative of her earlier work, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    Serg., Dijah., Music Is Death and 2 others like this.
  10. Couple of great bops booted out there. Always liked Bang Bang, quite a surprise #1 for Ariana back in the days when she wasn't the superstar she well and truly is now. It's still one of my favourite collaborations to be honest of hers, and she no doubts steals the show. Looks amazing in the music video too:
  11. For some reason I thought this was already eliminated?
    Like I said in my commentary this is a great track despite sounding a lot like ‘thank u, next’.
    Happy it made it this far, especially for an extra.
    soratami, ysev and savilizabeths like this.
  12. Boyfriend is a cute girl. It's definitely a very similar soundscape to Thank U, Next but I still really like it.
    Esprit, ysev, Music Is Death and 2 others like this.
  13. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

    Boyfriend is actually great but stay hating men I guess!
    Esprit, ysev, Music Is Death and 4 others like this.
  14. "That was still in?" kind of elimination by definition.

    I agree with this. I liked "Quit" a lot when it first came out but time hasn't been kind to it.

    Also please can we dig more into the debut?
    savilizabeths and Sprockrooster like this.
  15. boyfriend is basic as all hell, but I still bop.

    Ariana working with Social House really was the pinnacle of her charity work, n'est-ce pas?
    slaybellz and savilizabeths like this.
  16. No. Shut your mouth.

    Part two of our tie is on it's waaaay!
    soratami, DJHazey, Cutlery and 4 others like this.
  17. Only one left in the game...



    ☁️ R.E.M ☁️

    Average: 6.828

    "I love you, who starts a conversation like that?"
    Nobody but I do
    But you are not a picture, I can't cut you up and hide you
    I'll get you out my mind (Get you out my mind), ah, or try to

    High: 10x3 (@dylanaber @lemonsqueezyy @Sanctuary) 9.5x3 (@Mirwais Ahmadzaï @boombazookajoe @Aester) 9x2 (@savilizabeths @Petty Mayonnaise) 8.5x8 (@stoicist @aaronhansome @reputation. @ysev @Cutlery @japanbonustrack @sapnu puas @Music Is Life) 8.25x (@pop3blow2) 8x10 (@OspreyQueen @Butterfly @Remorque @Crisp X @aux @CorgiCorgiCorgi @Holly Something @fatyoshi @Dangerous Maknae @Dijah.)
    Low: 2x2 (@Espeon @Vixen ) 3x3 (@happiestgirl @Slice of Life @Laurence) 4x1 (@DJHazey) 4.5x1 (@Laura Vanderbooben) 5x4 (@Endothelium @blaze_dave @SophiaSophia @Ana Raquel @Milotic)
    Total Points: 498.5
    My Score: 9/10

    I didn't want to wake up and do this elimination. Today we lose dreamy bop 'R.E.M' from Ariana's divisve album Sweetener. This is the second to last Pharrell produced song left in the rate and I must say, we really did leave the best two for last, didn't we? 'R.E.M' is a gorgeously serene dream-like song about dreaming someone into your life. It was also originally a Beyonce demo. Ariana had some of the lyrics changed and now we have this version.

    What can I say? I adore 'R.E.M'. It captures the floaty dream world essence so perfectly in it's composition. The way it flows feels like you're bouncing around on clouds and the echo-y harmonies are angels surrounding you. Am I just describing that stereotypcial view of heaven? Maybe I am. I am well aware that many people find this meandering and dull but as far as I'm concerned, it's anything but. It's a goddamn daydream of a song that makes me feel so at peace. I listened to it a lot during quarentine actually. It was the perfect sweet, chill quarentine bop.

    The production is fairly simple. I actually find there's not a whole lot to say about it. It's the harmonies and melodies that really create the atmosphere here. How many times do I have to say that Ariana's use of harmonies is absolutely stunning? I will keep saying it until the end of this damn rate! The layers of lush harmonic vocals feel as if they're floating around you, wrapping you up in a warm feeling of drifting into a dream. While the actual production stays pretty basic, they act as an instrument in and of themselves, sweeping you into the dream with Ariana. Take a shot every time I use the word dream in this post. Or don't, you might die. The main melody itself is also lovely. The flow is so bouncy, particularly in the verses. I absolutely love the way it bops along. It actually always makes me think of that song 'Anyone Else But You' by The Moldy Peaches that Ellen Page and Michael Cera sing at the end of Juno. Listen to it and tell me I'm wrong! I just love it. It makes me smile every time.

    It's also the lyrics that make this song special. They sound so sream of conciousness, which sometimes makes them a little silly but in such a charming way. There's something so sweet and goofy about some of the words and phrases used. It makes the song feel so human and real. Ariana herself is a little goofy so it really feels like her song and her words even though it isn't. She has said the song is about dreaming a person into your life, which definitely ties into the opening line of the previously eliminated 'Pete Davidson'. I feel like the song definitely fits the narrative of their relationship as well. How quickly she fell, how familiar he felt to her, that sort of thing. It's almost about love at first sight and knowing as soon as you meet someone that they're special. You can't stop thinking about them, you think about the future, you already feel this strong love for them even though you are only just getting to know them. It's intensely lovestruck and so incredibly sweet. A love letter to someone you know you want to be in your life. Your dream human. Even though maybe they're not so perfect once you come out of the dream state that this song is.

    So um...yeah. Did I dock an entire point for Pharrell's annoying as hell breathing? Why yes I did. And how could I not? It's so distracting! I want to focus on the beauty of the song but instead all I can hear is this weird panting that makes no sense to the soundscape. Why does he do these things? Nobody wants you to actually be on the song, Pharrell! Just let Ariana sing! Funnily enough, especially considering a piece of commentary we got, it took me awhile to notice the breathing. Probably longer than it should have. But the second I did, I couldn't unhear it. Now it taunts me. Thankfully I just searched and there is a version out there with him cut out. Thank goodness for the internet, I guess.

    It's your turn! None of the people who gave this a ten had anything to say, so hopefully they'll chat in the thread. Let's begin with @Dijah. (8) who describes this perfectly in only two words: "Dreamy bop." Isn't it though? I love it so much! @daninternational (6.5) is apologetic: "Just can't get into it sorry." I forgive you, don't worry! @superultra (6) is over this by the end: "I’ve liked this song from the jump, but it does feel like it goes on forever." This seems to be a popular opinion but I don't notice the songs length at all. It doesn't drag on for me. @fatyoshi (8) promises they're not shady: "Good nap music. (I don't mean this in a shady way, I promise.)" This made me laugh, but also I totally get what you mean! @pop3blow2 (8.25) stans Sweetener but not an actually good song? Can't relate: "One of the weaker songs on here, for me, but I sill enjoy it. I love the little ‘Mr. Sandman’ homage adlib ‘bum-bum-bums’ at 1:35." That adlib is gorgeous, so I'll forgive you for rating other Pharrell moments higher than this.

    My favourite unnie @Slice of Life (3) betrays me: "Ariana singling this out as one of her sweetener faves......... the betrayal. the lack of taste." While I agree that Ariana usually has shit taste, this is an exception. So shh! @DJHazey (4) is actually the only person to make the anticipated joke: "Expected commentary but kind of puts me into a state of REM sleep." Well, someone had to do it. @RUNAWAY (5.5) is perplexed:
    "Why would ARIANA take a Beyonce demo? It honestly feels like the label owed Pharrell a favor or something, and Ari had no choice but to record his songs and not even get to write on them or do anything to make them HERS. No surprise that the singles didn’t include any of his tracks." Despite the fact that she didn't write this, it does feel hers to me. I don't know. @chrismoyer (7) won't be too disappointed by this elimination: "I don’t love it as much as others do, but it’s still very dreamy and cute. I like the sound of it, and the heavy R&B vibes in this, the song is overall very nice and pretty. Just a tad boring to me and kind of repetitive after a while, better in concert tbh." How is this boring to everyone? I do not understand!

    Of course @Crisp X (8) brings up Animal Crossing again: "The first of many Animal Crossing / Wii Menu-y songs and… I can't say I ever expected to make that comparison for a pop song ever. This one doesn't really go anywhere, but this awakens the nostalgic gamer in me anyway." Well, I'm glad nostalgia earned this a high score from you! @Cutlery (8.5) writes some wild sentences: "Yeah this perhaps deserves to be lumped with the other hate crimes in audio form in the tracklist, but for me the lo-fi (read: ancient demo they didn't even care to revamp) hazey aesthetic works for me better than I'd like to admit. Queen of soundtracking tender wet dreams." What a commentary ending! Wild! And finally, the commentary that I most relate to despite the low score. @Milotic (5) says: "Idk HOW i never noticed the constant Pharrell breath in the background. It's so damn grating, even more than the sample in the light is coming in my opinion. "Does this end?" indeed." It's pretty much only the first sentence I agree with but god, what a mood! HOW DID I NOT NOTICE FOR OVER A YEAR????

    And that's that. First tie complete and we're down to one final Pharrell track. Where will 'Get Well Soon' place? Check back tomorrow for a song I'm happy made it this far. Enjoy your days! I love you all and stay safe xoxo. ALSO I have only just listened to the Beyonce version and it's beautiful too!

    soratami, GimmeWork, Serg. and 31 others like this.
  18. FINALLY a low score is gone dddd.
    Serg. and savilizabeths like this.
  19. R.E.M would kinda slap if it actually went anywhere.
  20. Well like I highlighted in my commentary I appreciate R.E.M. kinda due to its staticness, rather than in spite of. Like going to bed with the thought of that person in your mind and then you drift off to sleep and dream something vaguely related to them which you won't remember the next morning waking up and feeling rested. A scenario!
    pop3blow2 and savilizabeths like this.
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