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Discard Rolling Stone's review of Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman

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On May 20, 2016, Ariana Grande's third studio album, Dangerous Woman, was released. It received critical acclaim upon release, as it combines pop with rock and R&B influences to create Grande's new musical style. These musical themes are constant throughout the album, as each song has its unique elements but all the songs blend together. This was a small issue with her previous albums, but has been fixed with this album. In addition to the production elements, her voice is stellar on this record, hitting high notes and belts cleanly, in addition to utilizing her lower register with superb enunciation.

Upon release, the album received nearly universal critical acclaim, with reviews praising her vocals, production, and overall quality of the record. Reviews from certified critics ranged from around 70 to 90 on a scale of 100. That is, except for Rolling Stone, who gave the album 3 stars out of 5, equating to a 60/100. In most other circumstance, a review of a lower caliber would have been acceptable if it was from a harsh critic who analyzed legitimate flaws. But this was not.

The review on Rolling Stone (linked here) was written Christopher R. Weingarten, who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album, as a vast majority of his previous reviews have been of rap albums. With that aside, the review itself remains extremely unprofessional and in no way backs up its low score. Some of the issues are as follows:

  • "The monster title track mixes Dap-Kings with 'Trap Queen'" - This false statement demonstrates the reviewers incompetence, as the comparison made here makes no sense. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are a funk band with jazz stylings, while 'Trap Queen' is a modern trap-rap song; neither the group nor the song sound remotely similar to the title track 'Dangerous Woman', which is a pop-rock song with infused electrical guitar.
  • "How do you follow a song called 'Everyday' with one called 'Sometimes'?" - This is an attempted criticism of the track order, but instead of focusing on lyrical or sonic transitions, it simply states the names of the tracks as a defense for this claim.

  • The track 'Be Alright' is described as "tropical house swagger-jack", when in fact the song is an early 90s deep house song, which further demonstrates the reviewer's inability to distinguish and write about pop music sub-genres.
  • Only a small handful of the 15 tracks on the album are even mentioned, forget discussed, with a large portion of the standout tracks ('Thinking Bout You', 'Bad Decisions') not even being mentioned. In fact, all but 2 of the songs mentioned in the article were released as promotional singles prior to the album's release, which brings into question if the reviewer even listened to the entire album fully before writing this review.
  • The article doesn't have any mentions of the production or her vocals (which she is famous for) that go in depth, so the best parts of the album are simply ignored

For the reasons listed above and more, this review is obviously biased and unprofessional, as it does not address all ore even most parts of the album, so its low score cannot be backed.

But why is one review so important? Although it does damage Grande's image, it is factored into the largest review website, Metacritic. On this site, numerous reviews of albums are averaged to provide a "Metascore" on a scale of 100, which provides the average consensus of the quality of an album. The Rolling Stone review factors into this, which lowers the overall score of Dangerous Woman, which is extremely unfair to Grande and her record label, preventing her from getting a higher score that she deserves.

By signing this petition, you are standing up for not only Ariana Grande, but all artists who suffer unfair reviews that have no substance or meaning to them. Please sign this to give Ariana Grande the score she deserves!



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