How Big How Blue How Beautiful
Have we had enough of TV stars-turned-pop stars? Hmmm, don't be so sure.
Ariana Grande's the latest to spring seemingly fully-formed from the conveyor, this time emerging from Nickelodeon's hothouse, and seems to be getting a media free-ride, popping up everywhere. Her second album's sprinkled with starry names, a sure sign of record label megabucks propping her up. You might want to jump off here.
But let's not be hasty. Grande might be blessed with all the luck in the world, but she's got the talent to carry it and no one sounds like they're just here for the cheque. Well, Big Sean could act a little more committed on Best Mistake, but Cashmere Cat offers some pretty special fluttering R&B on Be My Baby and The Weeknd makes a big effort to rein in his sleazier excesses on the tremendous sci-fi soul of Love Me Harder.
Whether there are guests or not, My Everything brims with fine pop songs, keeping dull moments to a minimum (save perhaps the Harry Styles-penned slush of Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart). As for Grande's talent, she has a gorgeous, lush voice as comfortable on the zappy, sassy Problem (the single with yet another collaborator, Iggy Azalea) as on the sad soft electro pop of Why Try. She deserves your time then, and on this showing she's going to demand plenty of it.