Album Review: Christmas And Chill – Ariana Grande

Like many past Disney stars, Ariana Grande is making her way through the music scene. The singer has already made her way to the top, topping the charts with her 2014 single Problem. Grande has incredible vocal ability, as displayed by her stint on Broadway as a lead in the musical 13. Although Grande is physically petite, her voice is anything but – and her vocal power is displayed in her most recent release, Christmas and Chill.

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The EP cover

The seasonal EP is full of original holiday songs, titled after the popular teen phrase “Netflix and chill”. While slightly cringe-worthy, the title has attracted listeners, if only because of the referencing.

The first track, Intro, is only a minute long. In fact, all six songs are incredibly short – the entire EP only hits thirteen minutes total. It starts with a steady finger-snapping beat, and goes into a track not unlike that of Melanie Martinez. It features the same dream-like feel, with high, flutey vocals from Grande. The first track ends with a slow fadeout, and goes into Wit It This Christmas. This track has the same simple sound, featuring mainly steady beats and main vocals. The lyrics are those of a typical love song, but the vocals call back to Mariah Carey. Wit It This Christmas ends with high-pitched strings. The third track, December, follows the same pattern as the first two. The style of music allows listeners to focus more on Grande’s vocals than the background track. It’s debatable whether or not this was a good choice, per se, but it is undeniable that Ariana Grande has incredible singing power and style. December feels a bit more repetitive than the first two, as it rhymes “boy” with itself multiple times in a row. This song cuts off just short of two minutes, and goes into the fourth track, Not Just On Christmas. The track begins with stronger instrumentals, and feels more like a classic Christmas song than a pop rendition of one. Grande still uses a head voice, and while she is certainly talented in that range, she’s better known for her belting power. The fifth track, True Love, references the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, but puts a synth-ridden touch to it. The song talks about a modern relationship, and sounds much more pop than Not Just On Christmas. Winter Things, the last track, sounds like a Meghan Trainor song, with a bouncier feel than most of the others. The song ends with a slow fadeout.

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Ariana Grande, Christmas of 2014

Believe it or not, this is not the first time Ariana Grande has made a seasonal EP – in winter of 2014, she made her first Christmas release. While it’s not uncommon for artists to make seasonal EPs, it’s certainly not a big deal in the pop world. Ariana Grande has undeniable talent, and it’s impressive that she put her own spin on Christmas-related songs.

 

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