Ariana Grande’s music has been more R&B-leaning so far, which makes sense given she’s been many times compared to Mariah Carey for her vocal range, and Carey’s sweet spot has been powerful urban and R&B styles. But with her latest single, Grande delves further into EDM than she has in the past, with decent results.
“Break Free,” which features Zedd, has a more powerful beat behind it, and lets Grande sing the hell out of the song. It does make her vocals sound a bit more generic, however, so there is a bit of an identity loss with it (when I first heard it I didn’t connect it to Grande).
There does seem to be a more concerted effort to break Grande more strongly this year; the songs she’s been releasing are more catchy, with another round of high-profile collaborators, following pairings with MIKA, Mac Miller and Big Sean on the first album. The music feels harder hitting too, which fits her vocal profile. If her second album delivers on the promise by “Break Free” and “Problem,” she’ll be in good shape.