Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Ariana Grande – POV

POV: You’re reading The Singles Jukebox’s reviews of “POV”.


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Dear future husband: I want to apologize in advance for how bad I’m going to ugly cry when I make us dance to this song at our wedding. Sorry, not sorry! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Taylor Alatorre: Ariana returns to the sound of 2013’s Yours Truly with more maturity, more strings, and unfortunately some distracting background noise. The concept of finding serenity through your partner is conveyed strongly enough that it doesn’t require a babbling brook to stress the point. Likewise, the breathing noises may have been intended to carry some residual sexiness from the album’s previous 13 tracks, but they sound more like a recording from a respiratory care unit. These are obstacles that the song’s hopeful message, and above all Ariana’s voice, can easily break through, but they shouldn’t have to.

Alfred Soto: She handles the rhythm changes of that Timbaland-influenced chorus like the pro she is, and the breathiness as natural to her as Michael Jackson’s punctuative hiccups doesn’t sound coy. The yearning feels earned. 

Samson Savill de Jong: The question I’m kicking back and forth in my head while listening to this is whether I dislike Ariana Grande’s singing voice with this production, or if I just don’t like her voice at all. It would be a bold claim to say that the undisputed queen of pop can’t sing, so I’ll avoid sticking my neck out and content myself with saying that her breathy, occasionally poorly enunciated vocals filled with trills and runs don’t work in this song. It’s a shame, because I find the concept quite enchanting; it’s not a song about needing someone to feel complete (common concept, but one that I always find a bit uncomfortable), but loving someone that sees you better than you see yourself and makes you feel good about yourself. But concept isn’t enough, and I just don’t enjoy listening to this, with vocals that I don’t care for emphasised and the instrumentation not doing enough on it’s own to draw me in anyway.

Ady Thapliyal: Frankly, I’m not quite sure why critics hold Ariana’s work in high regard, considering her derivative style takes more than it gives to contemporary R&B, but at least her formidable team of producers and songwriters churn guarantee decent results. “POV” is kind of my problem with Ari’s body of work in miniature. It’s lushly and expertly produced, with dozens of little ’90s R&B touches, but beyond spot-the-reference appeal it brings very little of its own to the table. It’s alright, but I’d rather just listen to Kehlani instead.

Pedro João Santos: The Mariah comparisons were exhausted during the Yours Truly days, even with the oft-facsimile vocal style — an extended annoyance for both; probably even more so for MC, seeing one of her acolytes take off with the hip hop sensibility she wasn’t allowed for years. She might be more content now that her influence on Grande supersedes the generic notion of melisma, and reaches out to the music per se. “POV” bundles the runs with the mood, the microbiome of a Mimi song, as it straddles the unbearable lightness of Charmbracelet (the same frugal synths, if less of a physical pulse) and the airbrushed panache of Emancipation (those choruses and bridge, dahhhling). However, no matter how almighty Mariah’s pen, this sort of confessional for imperfect love is all Ariana’s: not giving a fuck in public, committed to working out coexistence in private.

Nortey Dowuona: The soapy synths and clicking percussion under the pulsing bass and thumping drums coalesce around an Ariana, who is beginning to think about how she maybe needs to put just as much love into herself as her partner does. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s worth it.

Al Varela: There’s something to the soft elegance of this song that has captivated me from day one. It’s so surreal in its string arrangements and dream-like backing vocals that it delivers a sound that’s familiar, yet new. It’s almost nostalgic to hear the way the chorus slowly builds its octaves, only to tip-toe back down to Earth at the very end. “I’d love to see me through your point of view” is one of the most subtly beautiful moments in pop music of the past few years, and this soft ballad about learning to love oneself as much as your partner does is one of the most comforting love songs I’ve heard in recent memory. 

Reader average: [6.28] (7 votes)

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2 Responses to “Ariana Grande – POV”

  1. If this song does not make two year end lists I will end everybody reading this comment with the snap of my fingers.

  2. i guess non-blurbers should not be complainers but i cannot believe anything off this dreck of an album scored as high as our high score off YOURS TRULY