Looking through this blog, I bet that most of you wouldn’t peg me for a Ariana Grande fan.
NO DEADPOOL I DIDN’T EVEN SAY THAT GO AWAY!
….Sorry about that… Deadpool was a frequent..er… “guest” on my old blog and I guess he missed me?
ANYWAY most of you would be right in assuming that I don’t have every word of every Ariana Grande song memorized. I’m not the biggest pop fan in the world. However, there is one song by the former actress that I simply can’t get enough of. That song is Break Your Heart Right Back off of her 2014 album My Everything. While Grande performed this song on Good Morning America, I’ve always felt that it never got the shine that it deserves. So in an effort to fix that, I’m going to break down everything about this song that makes me love it so much.
One of the reasons I’m not a connoisseur of pop music is because, generally speaking, it’s vapid, commercially safe lyrics, paired with some pretty simple backing music. There’s nothing to learn, nothing to take to heart, just some words that might rhyme and radio friendly language. This song actually has a pretty interesting narrative. At first take, it may seem like this is a typical “he cheated and we’re breaking up” song, and that is technically correct. However if you pay close attention to the lyrics you’ll notice a slight deviation from the usual narrative.
“I shoulda saw it coming/ I shoulda saw the signs/But I wanted to believe you, trust you,/you said you wouldn’t lie/But baby you were so good, so good/you had me going blind/ you said he was your best friend/I’m guessing I wasn’t your type”
“You said I was your best, would be your last/now he’s gone, your alone/don’t want you back”
That’s right seems like homie was cheating on her with another man. Not only is this a refreshing take on a played out musical trope, but it allows for another thing that makes this song great.
This song samples the Diana Ross song I’m Coming Out which is the PERFECT sample for this songs narrative. Especially since that song has been somewhat of an anthem for the gay community for decades. It’s also interesting to note the difference in coming out traditionally (How the Ross song is usually used), and how Grande’s ex boyfriend in the song “came out”(by essentially being found out” It’s worth noting that Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G., and Ma$e also sampled this song in their 1997 smash hit Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.
The Gambino Feature
Okay so if you already know this song/me then you definitely saw this coming, but I will say that him being on the song doesn’t automatically make it great. If he delivered a complete garbage verse then I would spend most of my time making sure that nobody ever heard this song. Luckily, he gifts us with a smooth witty verse that includes a callback to Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems. His verse is an audio allusion specifically to Biggie’s verse, and he also has a bar that quite literally spells out the plot of the song in case we still hadn’t figured it out.
“Listen, you got a man but your man ain’t loyal/ don’t understand how to spell it out for you/Yes I’m a G from the A and they ask why/sorry had to tell you, I’m a nice guy”
All of these factors combine make a pretty great pop song/a great song in general. Not only is it enjoyable to listen to, but it has layers of depth as well. So if you ever find your self in a position where you feel like you need to defend your love of pop music, go ahead and use Break Your Heart Right Back as your first line of defense.
I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted, and I apologize for my absence. I’ve been super busy, but I’ll try not to let you guys go that long without having some flava for your ear. If you have an album you want my take on go ahead and put it in the comments or get at me on twitter @badicaldude
There’s Some Flava For Your Ear