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My Everything is Ariana Grande's second studio album which was released on August 24, 2014 by Republic Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Intro (1:20)
  2. Problem [featuring Iggy Azalea] (3:13)
  3. One Last Time (3:17)
  4. Why Try (3:31)
  5. Break Free [featuring Zedd] (3:35)
  6. Best Mistake [featuring Big Sean] (3:53)
  7. Be My Baby [featuring Cashmere Cat] (3:37)
  8. Break Your Heart Right Back [featuring Childish Gambino] (4:13)
  9. Love Me Harder [featuring The Weeknd] (3:51)
  10. Just A Little Bit of Your Heart (3:52)
  11. Hands on Me [featuring A$AP Ferg] (3:12)
  12. My Everything (2:48)

Deluxe Edition

  1. Bang Bang [with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj] (3:18)
  2. Only 1 (3:14)
  3. You Don't Know Me (3:52)

Target Exclusive Edition\Japanese Edition Bonus Tracks

  1. Cadillac Song (2:52)
  2. Too Close (3:35)
  3. Baby I [featuring Taro Hakase] (3:17)

Album BackgroundEdit

In September of 2013, Grande's debut album, "Yours Truly" was released and met with critical acclaim. During that same month, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she stated that she began writing & working on her second album, and had already completed two songs.

The recording sessions for "My Everything" began in October of 2013 with Grande working with previous producers from her debut album Harmony Samuels and Tommy Brown. She was initially aiming at releasing the album around February of 2014.

In January 2014, Grande confirmed she had been working with new producers Ryan Tedder, Savan Kotecha, Benny Blanco, Key Wane and Max Martin. She stated in late February that she wanted to name her album after a song she had finished that weekend that is very honest and makes her cry.

It was announced on March 3, 2014 that Grande would be featured on the fifth single from Chris Brown's album "X" titled "Don't Be Gone Too Long."

The single was originally set for release on March 25, 2014. However, it was postponed due to Brown being sent to jail awaiting trial on assault charges.

On March 17, 2014, Grande had announced the song's delay on March 17, 2014 via Twitter stating "My loves… so obviously some things have changed recently... So we have to delay the dbgtl countdown, some things are out of our control"

During that same night, she held a live stream to make up for the single's delay, where she previewed four new songs from her second album.

Two days following the announcement, Grande revealed that due to the song's delay, she would be releasing the first single from her upcoming sophomore studio album instead. She finished working on the album in late May 2014.

On June 28, 2014, she confirmed the title of the album to be "My Everything" and the release date to be August 25, 2014. The photos for the packaging in the album were taken on May 27, 2014.

Grande stated that she chose the cover artwork because she felt that "each song is so strongly themed that I just wanted to have a very simple overall cover. So that within each song we could create more visual themes."

CompositionEdit

"My Everything" is a pop-R&B album, revisiting the '90's retro-R&B style present in Grande's debut album "Yours Truly."

Annie Zaleski from The A.V. Club, described the album as a "slick throwback to melodramatic ’80s and ’90s pop."

The album's tracks include EDM, hip hop tunes and piano-driven ballads.

The album opens with "Intro", in which Grande addresses her fans: "I'll give you all I have and nothing less, I promise".

The second track is the lead single "Problem", an uptempo dance-pop song influenced by R&B jazz, hip hop and funk.

Rap-Up described the song as an "infectious horn-heavy jam" that features a "carefree" Grande "declaring her independence". It includes "an empowering verse from Iggy Azalea and a whispering Big Sean on the hook."

"One Last Time" is a dance-pop and EDM-light song.

The album continues with "Why Try", co-written and co-produced by Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco and features the lyrics "Now we're screaming just to see who's louder".

Some critics expressed an opinion that the song has a similar composition with Beyoncé's "XO" (2013; also produced by Tedder).

The following track is the EDM song "Break Free." The song combines the EDM and electro genres. In an interview with Billboard, Grande described the song as "fantastic and super-experimental for [her]" and stated: "I never thought I'd do an EDM song, but that was an eye-opening experience, and now all I want to do is dance."

The album's first of three ballads, "Best Mistake", features Big Sean. Billboard described it as "A moody ballad that grows stickier upon each listen, "Best Mistake" carries a tidy collection of impressive production details, the momentary string stabs among them".

Musically, it is a minimal hip-hop piano ballad lament that utilizes instrumentation from strings and a drum machine.

It tells a story about a couple trying to "make up their minds about the future of their relationship, with deep affection buried underneath their problems."

"Be My Baby" featuring Cashmere Cat is a "bouncy R&B jam." The song was compared with Mariah Carey's songs.

The eighth track, "Break Your Heart Right Back", featuring Childish Gambino, is about her boyfriend cheating on her with a man and contains the lyrics, "I know you’re mad 'cause I found out / Want you to feel what I feel right now". The song interpolates Diana Ross's song "I'm Coming Out."

"Love Me Harder", featuring The Weeknd, is a mid-tempo synthpop and R&B song, which starts small before its "'throbbing', electro-heavy chorus" with a guitar riff, while "big vacuum-esque synths zip" can be heard throughout the track.

Rob Copsey wrote for The Official Charts Company that the song reminded him of Drake at his most emotional. Lyrically, the song has Grande demanding romantic satisfaction, using double entendres about BDSM.

The track "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" is the album's second ballad, co-written by Harry Styles.

Official Charts compared the album's eleventh track, "Hands on Me" (featuring A$AP Ferg) with Rihanna's 2012 song "Cockiness (Love It)" and Iggy Azalea's 2014 song "Fancy."

Jason Lipshutz of Billboard described "Hands on Me" as "an out-of-left-field banger that removes Grande from her teenybopper phase and finds the 21-year-old discovering her inner Rihanna with lines."

The title track "My Everything" concludes the standard edition of the album on a somber note, recalling "Intro", and concerns Grande's struggles to regain the solid footing she once had with her partner.

The first bonus track on deluxe edition, "Bang Bang", featuring Jessie J and Nicki Minaj is an up-tempo, "soulful" song that features a "clap-heavy" production built over "big bouncy beats and horn blasts".

The next track was described by Billboard as "short, snappy and sumptuous, 'Only 1' is a light confection that succeeds due to its busy, intricate percussion."

The deluxe edition of the album concludes with the track "You Don't Know Me".

Chart PerformanceEdit

On August 27, 2014, Billboard reported that "My Everything" would sell over 160,000 copies in its first week. The album officially debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 169,000 copies in its first week.

By doing so, Grande attained her second consecutive number-one album in the country, becoming the first female artist to have her first two albums debut at number one since Scottish singer Susan Boyle did it with her albums: "I Dreamed a Dream" (in 2009) & "The Gift" (in 2010).

As of April of 2018, t has sold 735,000 copies in the United States.

In March of 2016, the RIAA certified "My Everything" double platinum, for combined album sales, on-demand audio, video streams, track sales equivalent of two million album-equivalent units.

In Japan, "My Everything" remained atop the iTunes Store chart for nine weeks, thus earning Grande the longest at number one in 2014, breaking the previous record held by "Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack."

In 2015, the album was ranked as the 17th most popular album of the year on the Billboard 200.

Critical ReceptionEdit

On Metacritic, "My Everything" received an average of 64 (based on 19 reviews) which the cite defines as "generally favorable reviews."

Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone said: "My Everything proves, she's already a major force" on a release showing how Grande is growing up because "It's a confident, intelligent, brazen pop statement, mixing bubblegum diva vocals with EDM break-beats."

Adam Markovitz says for Entertainment Weekly how "Grande has picked a set of songs so lyrically bland, sonically inoffensive, and artistically empty that they produce a zero-impact experience—musical vanilla fro-yo poured directly into your ears."

Markovitz states, "It's by no means painful; there are even moments of fun, including the thigh-high-boot swagger of summer smashes 'Problem' and 'Bang Bang,' both of which borrow their strut from coheadliners Iggy Azalea and Jessie J with Nicki Minaj, respectively."

Mikael Wood, writing on behalf of the Los Angeles Times, finds Grande in impressive form because she is "deeply cheerful yet with guns blazing, an innocent newcomer no more."

Elysa Gardner (on behalf of USA Today) writes that Grande "digs into ballads and more emotionally earnest fare" simultaneously, doing so with a "girlish playfulness... and a sense of growing confidence", and she is "blending sugar and spice" together to create a pleasing concoction to satisfy the varying palates of her supporters."

Stephen Thomas Erlewine says for AllMusic that "Grande doesn't embody the songs the way an old-fashioned diva would, but she functions as a likeable pop ringleader, stepping aside when the track calls for it and then unleashing a full-throated wail when it's her time to shine."

Jason Lipshutz from Billboard writes that the album "turned Grande into a dance artist, pop artist, and soul artist" with a more uniformed and more mature sound.

Gary Graff says on behalf of The Oakland Press that it is "a solid step forward for Grande, which makes 'there's more to see' an intriguing promise rather than a threat."

In a 7.7 out of ten review for Pitchfork, Meaghan Garvey explains how it "feels like Grande's arrival as a true pop fixture, not just a charming novelty... and while the best songs here may not be timeless, they certainly feel right for right now."

The album was placed at #11 on Digital Spy's Best Albums of 2014 list.

Jessica Goodman and Ryan Kistobak of The Huffington Post included the album on their list of 2014's best releases, commenting that the album makes sure "Grande's sheer talent did not go unnoticed".

In a more mixed review, Jim Farber from the New York Daily News writes that Grande's "sexed-up" vocals and range are shown off but the "constant jerking back and forth between styles interrupts any sense of flow."

Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian praises Grande's vocals but feels that the songs are indistinct and have a "facelessness" to them.

Annie Zaleski writes for The A.V. Club how it "is so well-constructed and designed to succeed, it rarely loosens up enough to let any depth of character (or real surprises) surface", yet it "further establishes Grande as a consummate performer and vocal interpreter."

Kitty Empire from The Observer notes that Grande's vocal ability is showcased, but that the songs lack personality.

Evan Sawdey, writing for PopMatters, commented that Grande mimicks other artists, leaving her distinguished voice with only the support of hollow lyricism.

In agreement, Will Robinson rated the album a 2.5 out of five for Sputnikmusic, saying it "ends up ringing hollow".

Writing for Vibe magazine, Adelle Platon was positive towards the album's sound and compared Grande's vocals to those of Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera.

Andrew Chan, writing on behalf of Slant Magazine, stated that Grande "emphasizes the sheer fun of singing over any sense of emotional urgency", yet "what her voice lacks in depth, texture, and variety will probably take time to acquire."

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