I haven’t led you guys astray yet, so trust me on this one.
2013 introduced the mainstream public to Ariana Grande, a pint size Nickelodeon star with the voice of Mariah Carey. Literally, the voice of Mariah Carey.
It’s really easy to immediately write off an artist when they come from Disney or Nick. I didn’t know who Ariana was until I saw her blast to the top of itunes last spring with ‘The Way’. After hearing the song, I wrote her off as a Mariah impersonator and a one-hit wonder.
It wasn’t until after her album dropped that I actually gave her a shot. My friend posted the album artwork on instagram saying that it was dope. [shoutout to Nini] So I streamed it, and started with the albums first song ‘Honeymoon Avenue’.
The song proved me wrong about Ariana in every way. It also showed me that someone from a kids network could make good music. To put it in scientific terms the song,
‘Honeymoon Avenue’ is simple in message.
Good Relationship goes bad – When did this happen? – Let’s go Back to the good times – twerk clap
It also has a lot of traffic analogies, which make the title more fitting. They also make you question your actions behind the wheel. Both literally and figuratively of course.
You know how to drive in rain
And you decided not to make a change
Stuck in the same old lane
Going the wrong way home
I feel like my heart is stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic
WHERE IS MY RELATIONSHIP GOING? – you might think
HOW DID OUR LOVE BECOME SO STOP AND GO LATELY – you say
IS TACO BELL ON THE LEFT OR RIGHT? – you ponder
These are just some of the many emotions that you feel listening to the song. Ariana insists it’s about looking through the rear view mirror to find the way, not the windshield.
Joking aside, ‘Honeymoon Avenue’ is a perfect pop track. The driving analogies actually aren’t bad, they’re just easy to laugh at, but still well written.
The song was produced by The Rascals, and was written, in part, by Babyface. That explains the R&B influence, and ***flawlessness of the melodies. Each melody builds and seems better than the last.
But that bridge though >
The doo-wop intro >
Ariana exhibits beautiful vocal control. She jumps between octaves effortlessly, and manages to sound like her own entity. She sings convincingly and confidently, which is something a lot of new artists struggle with. Since they have songs written for them, the passion is often lacking. That’s not the case here.
‘Honeymoon Avenue’ has the sound of a classic Mariah or Whitney track, which may have been the reason I immediately fell in love with it. It doesn’t feel like a flash in the pan. It’s clearly paying homage to great pop, while sneaking in some modern influences.
This is was what I honestly expected from Justin Timberlake’s ’20/20 Experience’; The string intro and chopped and screwed outro is everything a Justin fan needs.
‘Honeymoon Avenue’ was one of my favorite songs from last year, and it should be yours to. A song like this will stand the test of time. That’s why I always appreciate songs that mix older influences with current ones. We haven’t had a song do that so well in a long time.
If you still haven’t pressed play, get past the Nickelodeon thing, it doesn’t matter.
Also, you’re just pressed.
Good music will always transcend stereotypes and preconceived notions, you just have to be willing to let it.