Music Critic Jimmy Simpson reviews Ariana Grande’s highly anticipated new single
Ariana Grande’s first solo single since the release of her 2020 studio album Positions comes off the back of several years of sustained scrutiny and controversy surrounding the pop singer’s personal life. As its title suggests, ‘yes, and?’ sees Grande dismiss her critics and encourage her listeners to be their own authentic selves. This empowering sentiment (‘Say that shit with your chest, and be your own fuckin’ best friend’) overlays a simple yet luscious dance beat that brims with vitality. Drawing heavily on house music influences, Grande combines sensual vocals with a confident aura and sparkling, piano-led groove to create a life-affirming anthem that cuts right through the January blues.
The singer’s persona on the track recalls pop diva contemporaries like Beyoncé, as well as old-school artists like Madonna and Mariah Carey. The single’s release has been somewhat overshadowed by criticism and has been divisive among critics and fans. But aside from this, ‘yes, and?’ does not take itself too seriously, striking a sweet, near-perfect balance between its righteous temper and pop lightness.
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