“Be Alright” Proves Ariana Grande Hasn’t Forgotten Her Roots
It’s a proud moment when an artist can be mentioned in the same sentence as a legend. Ariana Grande had many such moments with the bubblegum pop sound and capable vocals on her debut album marking her as a Mariah Carey protégé. She’s taken her artistry in different directions since then, but in “Be Alright” – the second release off her upcoming album, Dangerous Woman – we find reassurance that Grande will continue pulling from the past for new ends.
Starting relaxed, Grande lingers on uncluttered verses (“midnight… shadows…”) before allowing energy to build with a dance-y, popping chorus, interesting for the dichotomy of restrained lyrics (“We will be alright” repeated thrice) against heavy bass and virtually indecipherable male chants (my best guess: “dadiboo-daboo, da-dadiboo-daboo”). This is where the song derives most of its energy. Sandwiched between two choruses is an upbeat section where the lyrical delivery picks up (“Baby don't you know, all o’ them tears gon' come and go/ Baby you just gotta make up your mind, that every little thing is gonna be alright”) for a responsive pace fluctuation.
Starting relaxed, Grande lingers on uncluttered verses before allowing energy to build with a dance-y, popping chorus, interesting for the dichotomy of restrained lyrics...
By its lyrical simplicity and easy-to-listen-to production, the song resembles Grande’s earlier work but without being a vanilla retread. The lyrics themselves are reassuring, with regular reminders of support for seeing through the immediate turbulence of a relationship. Lines like "But the hard times are golden, 'cause they all lead to better days" give it a hopeful sound, which comes through in the song’s light vibe, where half-note finger snaps and brisk xylophone sounds are featured against a soft piano that sets a template for other instruments to take over in later sections.
Awaiting the chorus’ beat drop makes for a catchy listen, albeit the drawback of an uninvolved chorus is a straightforward song. Yet “Be Alright” is successful because it’s gimmick-free, demonstrating that Dangerous Woman will continue borrowing from her bubblegum pop roots in more disguised ways.