My Everything Ariana Grande Second studio album
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My Everything is the second studio album by American singer and actress Ariana Grande, released on August 25, 2014 by Republic Records. Grande wanted My Everything to sound as “an evolution” from her debut album, Yours Truly (2013); it explores more mature themes and genres. In the album’s production, Ariana worked with a host of producers – including Max Martin, Shellback, Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, Darkchild, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Zedd, and David Guetta. Upon its release, the album debuted atop the Billboard 200, selling 169,000 copies in its first week. It debuted at number one in Australia and Canada as well, and peaked in the top ten of twenty countries worldwide. As of April 2018, the album has sold 735,000 copies in the United States.
Ariana Grande – My Everyting
My Everything was preceded by the lead single “Problem”, which features Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. After its release on April 28, 2014, the single debuted at number three the week of May 17, selling over 400,000 copies in its first week and eventually peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. “Break Free”, featuring German-Russian musician and producer Zedd, was released as the second single on July 2, and peaked at the fourth position on the Hot 100. The fourth single, “Love Me Harder”, featuring The Weeknd, was released on September 30, 2014 and peaked at number seven. Final single “One Last Time” reached number thirteen. At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2015, My Everything was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Background and recording
— Grande, on the album.
Grande’s debut studio album Yours Truly was released on September 3, 2013, and was met with critical acclaim. Later that month, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Grande stated that she had begun writing and working on her second studio album and had already completed two songs. Recording sessions began in October 2013 with Grande working with previous producers from her debut album Harmony Samuels and Tommy Brown. Grande was initially aiming at releasing the album around February 2014. In January 2014, Grande confirmed she had been working with new producers Ryan Tedder, Savan Kotecha, Benny Blanco, Key Wane and Max Martin. Grande stated in late February that she wanted to name her album after a song she had finished that weekend that is very honest and makes her cry.
It was announced on March 3, 2014 that Grande would be featured on the fifth single from Chris Brown’s album X titled “Don’t Be Gone Too Long”. The single was originally set for release on March 25, 2014. However, it was postponed due to Brown being sent to jail awaiting trial on assault charges. Grande had announced the song’s delay on March 17, 2014 via Twitter stating “My loves… so obviously some things have changed recently… So we have to delay the dbgtl countdown, some things are out of our control”. That same night she held a live stream to make up for the single’s delay, where she previewed four new songs from her second album. Two days following the announcement, Grande revealed that due to the song’s delay, she would be releasing the first single from her upcoming sophomore studio album instead. She finished working on the album in late May 2014. On June 28, Grande confirmed the title of the album to be My Everything and the release date to be August 25, 2014. The photos for the packaging in the album were taken on May 27, 2014. Grande stated that she chose the cover artwork because she felt that “each song is so strongly themed that I just wanted to have a very simple overall cover. So that within each song we could create more visual themes.”
Music and lyrics
My Everything is a pop-R&B album. It revisits the ’90’s retro-R&B style present in Grande’s debut album Yours Truly: Annie Zaleski from The A.V. Club, described the album as a “slick throwback to melodramatic ’80s and ’90s pop.” The album’s tracks include EDM, hip hop tunes and piano-driven ballads. The album opens with “Intro”, in which Grande addresses her fans: “I’ll give you all I have and nothing less, I promise”. The second track is the lead single “Problem”, an uptempo dance-pop song influenced by R&B,jazz, hip hop and funk. Rap-Up described the track as an “infectious horn-heavy jam” that features a “carefree” Grande “declaring her independence”. It includes “an empowering verse from Iggy Azalea and a whispering Big Sean on the hook.” “One Last Time” is a dance-pop and EDM-light song. The album continues with “Why Try”, co-written and co-produced by Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco and features the lyrics “Now we’re screaming just to see who’s louder”. Some critics expressed an opinion that the song has a similar composition with Beyoncé’s “XO” (2013; also produced by Tedder).
A 22-second sample of “Break Free”
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The following track is the EDM song “Break Free”. The song combines the EDM and electro genres. In an interview with Billboard, Grande described the song as “fantastic and super-experimental for [her]” and stated: “I never thought I’d do an EDM song, but that was an eye-opening experience, and now all I want to do is dance.” The album’s first of three ballads, “Best Mistake”, features Big Sean. Billboard described it as “A moody ballad that grows stickier upon each listen, “Best Mistake” carries a tidy collection of impressive production details, the momentary string stabs among them”. Musically, it is a minimal hip-hop piano ballad lament that utilizes instrumentation from strings and a drum machine. It tells a story about a couple trying to “make up their minds about the future of their relationship, with deep affection buried underneath their problems.” “Be My Baby” featuring Cashmere Cat is a “bouncy R&B jam”. The song was compared with Mariah Carey’s songs. The eighth track, “Break Your Heart Right Back”, featuring Childish Gambino, is about her boyfriend cheating on her with a man and contains the lyrics “I know you’re mad ’cause I found out / Want you to feel what I feel right now”. The song interpolates Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out.”
“Love Me Harder”
A 23-second sample of “Love Me Harder”, a mid-tempo synthpop and R&B, an example of strong R&B influences in the album.
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“Love Me Harder”, featuring The Weeknd, is a mid-tempo synthpop and R&B song, which starts small before its “‘throbbing’, electro-heavy chorus”, with a guitar riff, while “big vacuum-esque synths zip” can be heard throughout the track. Rob Copsey wrote for The Official Charts Company that the song reminded him of Drake at his most emotional. Lyrically, the song has Grande demanding romantic satisfaction, using double entendres about BDSM. The track “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” is the album’s second ballad, co-written by Harry Styles. Official Charts compared the eleventh track, “Hands on Me”, featuring A$AP Ferg, with Rihanna’s “Cockiness (Love It)” (2012) and Azalea’s “Fancy” (2014). Jason Lipshutz of Billboard described “Hands on Me” as “an out-of-left-field banger that removes Grande from her teenybopper phase and finds the 21-year-old discovering her inner Rihanna with lines.” The title track “My Everything” concludes the standard edition of the album on a somber note, recalling “Intro”, and concerns Grande’s struggles to regain the solid footing she once had with her partner.
The first bonus track on deluxe edition, “Bang Bang”, featuring Jessie J and Nicki Minaj is an up-tempo, “soulful” song that features a “clap-heavy” production built over “big bouncy beats and horn blasts”. The next track was described by Billboard as “short, snappy and sumptuous, ‘Only 1’ is a light confection that succeeds due to its busy, intricate percussion”.] The deluxe edition of My Everything concludes with the track “You Don’t Know Me”.
Release and promotion
On June 28, 2014, Grande announced that her album would be available for pre-order through her website. Those who pre-ordered the album would get exclusive access to Grande’s concert stream that will be held on August 24 where she will perform songs from her album live for the first time. Grande embarked on her first world tour titled The Honeymoon Tour in support of the album which began in February 2015.
In the weeks preceding the release of My Everything, several previews of songs from the album were released. On July 7, 2014 Grande posted a teaser of “Best Mistake” onto her Instagram page. The song features rapper Big Sean. On July 27, 2014, a preview of “Be My Baby” was filmed at a concert of featured artist, Cashmere Cat, and uploaded to YouTube, by a fan. Grande retweeted a link to the video on her Twitter profile. She then retweeted a second snippet on August 4. Twenty days before the album’s release, Grande released a preview of “Love Me Harder”, which features Canadian recording artist The Weeknd, onto her Instagram profile.On August 20, four songs from the album, “Why Try”, “Be My Baby”, “Love Me Harder”, and “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart”, were released courtesy of MTV.
On August 24, Grande opened the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards with “Break Free” and then later appeared to perform “Bang Bang” with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj. Following her performance on the show, My Everything was released worldwide on August 25, 2014. During the week of its release, commercials aired on television to promote My Everything as well as the Beats Pill. On August 29, Grande performed “Problem”, “Break Free”, “Bang Bang”, and “Break Your Heart Right Back” on The Today Show. In addition to performing, Grande was also interviewed, forecasted to weather and brought her grandmother for an interview of her own. On September 5, Grande performed the title track from My Everything during the Stand Up to Cancer television program in dedication to her grandfather, who had died from cancer earlier that year.