Friday, April 12th, 2019

Ariana Grande & Victoria Monét – Monopoly

One taught us indifference…

Alfred Soto: Congratulations — you’re the biggest pop star in the world. You win all the marbles. Profligacy is its own reward in this business. So is sticking hip-hop cadences where they don’t belong.

Taylor Alatorre: Better than “7 Rings” because it gives a more honest peek into the rich person’s mindset than the former’s itemized list of Barbie Dreamhouse accessories. True opulence is being so unbothered about signing away 90% of the royalties to your second-biggest hit that you make it the biggest brag line on the sequel. This sort of unsubtle fourth wall breaking is something usually rewarded by my attention span, but here it feels like yet another bone thrown to Stan Twitter to cover for a lack of strong ideas. It didn’t even occur to me that the “women and men” line would become a ready-made controversy because it just floats through the current along with everything else, save for the precision-strike whistle register at the end. It’s nice to pull back the curtain and witness the growth of a songwriting partnership in real time, but if I wanted to listen to “Feeling Myself” on Ambien, I would just… do that.

Stephen Eisermann: The only thing I love more than two girlfriends having fun, is two girlfriends having fun while flexing on dudes. And if there is a declaration in support of being bi? Oof, even better. Maybe just produce the song a little better next time, no? Victoria Monét has a good voice and the weird flattening effect applied does her no justice, truly.

Iris Xie: This is a song you’d play at 2 or 3 am, when the party’s over, and the people who are still there are just chatting on the couch while others are pitching in to help clean up the space. They’re both feathery and light with their vocals, tapping and gliding over the relaxed beat and horns. The bridge is cute and exuberant, and overall it’s low-key, frothy, and encouraging.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Grande and Monét are clearly having fun, and “Monopoly” has the easy confidence and rapport of a duet carrying a lived-in friendship. Unfortunately, the song is more a collection of inside jokes and banter than anything useful to the outside listener, leaving “Monopoly” as more of a curiosity or footnote in Ariana Grande’s imperial period than anything else.

Will Adams: Much as I’d like to buy that this is a fun song that two pals “randomly” “dropped” on a “whim” with a “homemade” video that “probably” took “twenty minutes” to make, my suspension of disbelief only goes so far. What “Monopoly” is: another carefully placed cog in Ariana’s imperial flex era — in this case a flex on a flex, with her boasting about still making money despite (rightfully) giving up 90% of “7 Rings” to Rodgers and Hammerstein. While it’s not as off-putting as its predecessor — the beat is bubbly, the multi-tracked whistle tones lovely and the pair appear to have genuine chemistry — both “Thank U, Next” and Monet’s solo material offer throwback R&B that’s more enjoyable and less concerned with being ostentatious.

Reader average: [2.33] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Ariana Grande & Victoria Monét – Monopoly”

  1. This one’s actually grown on me a lot since it dropped. I think the low-stakes veneer really works wonders once you realize the one vocal melody sounds like Ty Dolla $ign’s “Don’t Judge Me” (a song that’s comparatively more polished).

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