Review: Ariana Grande – Side to Side (feat. Nicki Manaj) (Pop)

This review covers the pop track Ariana Grande – Side to Side (feat. Nicki Manaj).

This track was released in 2016 on the album Dangerous Women.

The track features a reggae style guitar to back the vocals. This is broken up by finger snapping. Every other finger snap is seemingly pitch-bent slightly lower. There is the occasional brass instrument that can be heard. There are some additional buildups aided by some subtle synth layered with a little bassline. Otherwise, it’s a very minimalistic track as far as instruments are concerned.

The vocal talent is decent, but does nothing to really separate the track out from any other. A lot about the way the vocals are used has a thick “sameness” sound to it. The near lack of anything backing them only heightens that sound to me.

The worst part of this track is definitely the lyrics. With the exception of a very tiny sliver of the chorus, the lyrics are highly sexualized. What’s worse is the fact that they just seem to be plunked down into the song. There’s not much flow to tie the track together as far as lyrics are concerned. A lot about it feels very cookie cutter and, as a result, clunky and rushed.

The musical elements that back this track doesn’t exactly inspire positive feelings. It builds up a little, then falls back down to just being just background filler. It reminds me of a lot of the bad psytrance tracks I’ve heard that feature all build-up and no reward.

Overall, the vocal talents are wasted on this poorly planned out track. The lyrics are stale and clunky. The backing instruments and other sound does precious little to reward the listener. Because of this, I can only put this track on the list of tracks to avoid listening to.


Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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