The Listener

The only way to avoid Ariana Grande’s drivel is to move to Iran

2 March 2019

9:00 AM

2 March 2019

9:00 AM

Grade: D

Among the many reasons for moving to Iran is this vapid, talentless, derivative, hyperbolically oversexed drivel aimed at your 11-year-old daughter. The land of the mad mullahs is about the only place on earth you’ll be able to avoid this unmitigated crap, a collection of chemically processed ur-songs that make Taylor Swift seem like Debussy.


It’s No. 1 everywhere you look. The UK, the USA, Australia, Ireland… hell, you hear this stuff and think to yourself, Christ, I have to escape — maybe to some glacier in the far north of Iceland, or to the wolf-infested lower slopes of the Tatra mountains in Slovakia. Nah, sorry. No. 1 in those places too. Face it: Iran or bust. Forswear alcohol and infidelism. Anything to avoid this mind-sapping rot that she wants your children to buy. My guess is that they’ll only buy it if they’re thick and tone-deaf. But then that’s quite a few of them, isn’t it?

Yeah, Ariana behaved with some dignity in the wake of the Manchester bombings. Well done, etc. It doesn’t excuse this festival of generic electronic R&B, half the songs on the album marked sexually ‘explicit’ — and remember, her fan base is sub-teen. But it’s the numbing boredom more than the pouty pussy-flouting that grates. It is almost entirely vile. I can just about bear the first few bars of ‘Needy’, with its cute electric piano. ‘Bloodline’s pretend salsa and ‘Imagine’s vocodered pleasantries stopped me, briefly, from slashing my wrists. I know, I know. Pre-teen pop was never much cop. But compare this to the Monkees — or even Vanilla Ice. Tehran awaits. Get your visa now.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
Close