Pop princess Ariana Grande has had a tough couple of years. Since the Manchester concert of her tour promoting her album Dangerous Woman was the target of a terrorist attack in May 2017, and the fatal overdose of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller at the same time as her highly publicised engagement and subsequent separation with American comedian Pete Davidson the following year, the star has consistently been the subject of attention in the world’s press.
Yet just as consistent has been the superb calibre of the music she has released during this tumultuous time. Sweetener, released in August 2018 and thank u, next released just seven months later are masterclasses in overcoming personal hardship, as Grande delivers her most powerful and empowering tracks to date.
k bye for now (swt live) is a live album recorded over the course of her 2019 Sweetener tour which promoted her latest two albums. Ariana is an example of professionalism throughout: her unmatched soaring vocals are flawless on every song, with riffs and harmonies galore (her range is out of this world).
Her sweet and gentle interactions with the crowds as well as her unwavering enthusiasm endear her to both the listener and the audience, especially considering the last eighteen months. In an hour and a half, she and her brilliant band take us through a programme of her latest and biggest silky pop-R&B hymns such as God is a Woman, Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored and 7 rings, with a few old favourites (Break Free, Break Your Heart Right Back) peppered in for good measure.
This live album is a perfect way to hear Ariana Grande at her strongest, as she ends 2019 (finally) on a high.