Ariana Grande is a hitmaker, but even some of her best songs don’t get the attention they deserve – whether from her or the fans. With six studio albums under her belt, six number one songs, and 19 top 10 songs on the charts, it is time to take a look at the best B-sides; the most underrated songs from her discography.
‘obvious’ – Ari loves to make jolly music, but usually those sweet songs fall flat among the other ones. This one remains a huge exception. It’s a lovely-love song with a musical arrangement that is candy for the ears. The outro is phenomenal. This needs to be on setlist on her next tour. Couldn’t it be more obvious that Ariana loves this sound? … and believes in love at first sight?
From thank u, next
‘imagine’ – This song got some love, but somehow it all got lost as the era kept going. This was released as a promotional single only. It was like ‘here, make it an almost-single.’ The disrespect. Despite being performed flawlessly on The Tonight Show, it was left nowhere to be seen on the tour setlist. Another one that has a near-perfect musical arrangement and showcases the range of Ariana’s vocal ability. It’s hauntingly stunning. I’d say it is in the running for the most underrated song in her catalogue.
‘bad idea’ – Did someone say serve me up a banger? Everyone loves a mistake in the making, and that is exactly what this song is about. It’s not necessarily the type of song that best fits someone with the voice of Ariana, but it does best fit the definition of a song made for a pop star. I don’t love songs that fade out, and this one just teases such an ending. The abrupt closing after an extended outro is what cool music is all about.
From Dangerous Woman
‘Sometimes’ – Dangerous Woman is the album with the most underrated songs. It is her best album for a reason. Many artists would die to have a song like ‘Sometimes’ among their singles. It is such a vibe. As a multi-dimensional artist Ariana has a sweet spot for not only pop bangers and bubbly love songs, but also nippy R&B chill tracks. This is one of those. Don’t mind me if I pair it up with some of the biggest stand-outs from positions.
‘Touch It’ – Let me be honest from the jump start. I stan this song hard. It is one of my favorite Ariana songs. And quite frankly, it is such an offensive thing that it is not a number one single. This will not be tolerated. Ariana, honey, what the hell is going on here? I’m angry just thinking about it. I’m typing extra hard as it is blasting my speakers. Extra hard. That grand chorus is not fit for a non-single. It just isn’t. This banger wraps up a whole lot of feeling as a song about unrequited love (we’ve all been there, so it’s relatable. check!) with a massive chorus that screams drama along a breathtaking, slightly auto-tuned yet euphoric bridge (fits the pop hit formula. check!) and a bassline that will have chills going up your coochie, through your spine, and into your BRAIN (fucking check!)!
*takes a xanax to relax*
‘Be Alright’ – We’re going to be alright, she says. Similarly to some of the other songs on this list, this one seems to get some sort of special treatment but not quite the single status it deserves. A good downtempo moment that still makes you dance is not easy, and she accomplishes that and more with this gem. Really embracing a more relaxed form of the house genre, she varies the tempo with her satisfying ad-libs in this bop. 100 out of 10.
‘Bad Decisions’ – Haters gonna hate. This song does give off Yours Truly vibes, but that’s not the point. Pop music has no true definition. Some might say this one feels childish, but it truly is an unjustly invisible summer anthem. It’s one of Ariana’s feel-good songs that could have been much more than just that. The stop-and-show transition from the bridge to the last chorus is the kind of rumble that we deserve. Unfortunately, Dangerous Woman was already too heavy with single-ready songs.
From My Everything
‘Only 1’ – My Everything is a great album, but it says a lot when the two songs on this list are from its bonus tracks. ‘Only 1’ has been a hidden gem in Ariana’s body of work for a long time. Just recently has it had the spotlight – with Ariana confirming it is one of her favorite songs and playing it live for the first time in this last Sweetener era. It only took her five years to do it some kind of justice.
‘You Don’t Know Me’ -Forget being a single, how this didn’t make it to the main tracklist of the album is beyond me. This is your typical ‘you won’t control me’ song. It’s pretty straightforward lyrically, but it bodes well with the music and Ariana’s interpretation. You can hear the attitude of the song in her voice. The percussion is what makes this song, however, helping navigate it all throughout. Such a missed opportunity of a single. But I will say this: this is probably the lesser of the underrated songs in the list.
From … Dangerous Woman 1.0
‘Focus’ – Some will disagree, but I don’t care. I’m a sucker for horns. The only problem here is that this one really got f-ed over. Imagine being a single, but then not being a single. Here, little Jimmy, have a piece of candy. But as soon as you unwrap it, give it back. Don’t eat it. Ariana Grande, you monster. Max Martin is a legend, and this song is a splendid product of his skillset. This big band moment will always be memorable to the biggest of Arianators. It was ahead of its time. #JusticeForFocus