After dropping her fizzy new song, "Focus," at the end of October, Ariana Grande did a strange thing: she assured fans that the rest of her upcoming new album, Moonlight , sounded nothing like it. "... I put 'Focus' first because it's the only one that sort of sounds like that," Grande told U.K. radio station KISS FM a few days after the tune's premiere. This seemed like an odd strategy to me (after all, aren't lead singles supposed to "tease" the sonic direction of an LP?), and I wondered if the 22-year-old singer could possibly be telling the truth. As it turns out, she was: On Monday, Grande shared a bunch of new song snippets on Snapchat, and, as promised, they don't sound anything like "Focus" (which is probably a good thing).
I despised "Focus" at first, but it grew on me eventually. Still, I can't help but feel disappointed by the song. Grande hyped "Focus" for months before its release, and honestly, I was expecting to be wowed. Unfortunately, "Focus" doesn't wow — it "mehs." At best, it's a catchy little ditty that likely won't cause you to change the radio station when it comes on. At worst, it's a lazy rehash of Grande's 2014 mega-hit, "Problem." So, that being said, when it comes to the remainder of Moonlight, I'm all for Grande switching things up a bit. Happily, she seems to be doing just that.
To my ears, the clips Grande recently shared on Snapchat have more in common with her debut album, Yours Truly, than her latest release, My Everything (but they're not too familiar, if you know what I mean). Check 'em out below.
In terms of style, these snippets also remind me of Grande's recent collaborations with Norwegian DJ/producer Cashmere Cat, "Be My Baby" and "Adore." I happen to love both songs, so, for me, this is an exciting development. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more.
In her aforementioned KISS FM interview, Grande said she hoped to "outdo" herself with Moonlight — which certainly won't be an easy task. Releasing "Focus" as the project's lead single was, in my opinion, a misstep, but thankfully, everything appears to be back on track.