Edge, Music, Reviews

REVIEW: Ariana Grande’s female-driven ‘Charlie’s Angels’ soundtrack launches her production career

The long-awaited, original soundtrack to the upcoming “Charlie’s Angels” remake was released Friday, Nov. 1. Sticking true to the theme of the film series itself, the soundtrack is one huge celebration of femininity and womanhood. The film is set to be released Nov. 15, and its soundtrack serves as the third album that pop all-star Ariana Grande has released in the past 15 months.

Grande enlisted a star-studded group of 16 female voices to form the 11-track project, with lyrical themes of empowerment, sexuality and dominance. She not only includes current pop and rap music queens such as Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus but also makes room for iconic female voices of past generations, such as Donna Summer and Chaka Khan.

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The "Charlie's Angels" soundtrack was released on Nov. 1, with the movie scheduled for release later this month. Photo credit: spotify.com

Having shown her legendary vocals and fierce songwriting skills on other works, this serves as Grande’s first attempt at showcasing her talents as a vocalist, producer and writer all at once. The outcome of this combination is radio-ready pop bangers and crooning vocals from her seemingly endless pool of collaborators.

Some of the opening tracks of the album lean towards the type of pop that we are used to from Grande. With commanding hooks, tracks such as “How It’s Done” and “Don’t Call Me Angel” feel right at home on your go-to playlist of pop songs for a dance party.

A clear standout track and perhaps Grande’s best collaboration, “Bad to You” features rapper Nicki Minaj and newcomer pop princess Normani. The track provides the perfect groove for the album as the trio comes together with sultry harmonies and sexy lyrics over an island-inspired beat.

The next couple of tracks serve as dance-pop bangers, the kind of songs you’d find radiating from a club’s DJ booth. “Eyes Off of You” performed by M-22, Arlissa and Kiana Lede, alongside a remix of Donna Summer’s smash hit “Bad Girls” are guaranteed to energize you, sending speaks through your speakers, headphone or whatever device you are listening on.

Some of Grande’s strongest vocals and production can be found on the latter half of the soundtrack. “How I Look on You” would fit perfectly on Grande’s latest album, “thank u, next.” With a hard-hitting trap beat and silky vocals, Grande proves that she can do more than collaborations. She definitely has the range and vocal power to go solo.

“Got Her Own,” a track that has been in Grande’s unreleased discography for several years, employed her long-time best friend and collaborator Victoria Monet. Monet’s presence on this track has something so natural and fitting about it that rivals many of the album’s previous collaborations.

However, seeing how naturally Monet and Grande fit together exposes a problem that plagues much of the album. Opening tracks such as “How It’s Done” and the lead single “Don’t Call Me Angel” find each track’s respective artists feeling disconnected from one another. There seems to be a lack of chemistry between them that unfortunately allows for this project to not live up to the same standards as Grande’s other works.

However, that does not affect the overall “bop-worthiness” of the album. If anything, this project goes to show that– while Grande has room for growth as a producer– her ability to simultaneously produce, write and perform solidifies her as one of the most dominant presences in pop music today.

Don’t take our word for it. Click here to listen to the soundtrack and let us know what you think.

November 4, 2019

Reporters

Jarrod Houseknecht


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