Ariana Grande’s New Music Video Has a Lot of Problems

Between the same tired choreography we’ve been seeing every time Ariana Grande performs this song live to the cameo of Big Sean that served no purpose, Grande’s newest music video fell flat.

Directed by Nev Todorovic, who also directed Grande’s videos for “Right There” and “Almost is Never Enough”, this newest video followed the same 1960s theme that Grande has been promoting since news of a new single circulated.

From the fashion (Grande also sported the same outfit she’s been wearing for performances: knee high boots and a short black dress) to the grainy video effects it definitely has the 60s feel. Although the outfits were cute and Iggy Azalea looked good as always, they were nothing spectacular. Again, it was just too much of the same.

The problem with Grande’s newest video was she was showing us all things we’ve already seen. Take a look at her performance at the Radio Disney Music Awards:

Even the first time she performed this routine it wasn’t anything amazing. There’s no complicated dance moves or anything that I couldn’t teach myself in the comfort of my bedroom. The truth is that although Grande has great pipes, she can’t dance so her choreography is never as crazy as Chris Brown’s, for example, which is fine. What’s not fine is using the same mediocre dance routine over and over again, especially in a much anticipated music video that was very hyped up. To see the same moves again (that I feel confident I could now do in my sleep) it was not only disappointing but boring. To use a routine that many times it has to either be a line dance or Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” routine; Grande’s performance was neither.

For the entirety of the video I waited for something to happen. Anything that was different from what I’d already seen in the past but there was nothing. Grande could have just used footage from her previous performances of “Problem” and compiled it into this video. Yes there was some great video effects that added the 60s vibe but again nothing that made me say, “Oh wow. That’s fantastic.”

The only new feature in the video was Big Sean. As teased in one of Grande’s many teasers for the video on Instagram (the teaser has since been removed) Big Sean does make an appearance, only to whisper, “I got one less problem without ya.”

Whether or not Big Sean actually does the whispering on the original track is irrelevant. What is relevant is all he does is whisper in the video and we never even see a full body shot of him as the camera focuses on his mouth and glimpses of his face. He does not produce any kind of dance moves or really do anything but whisper. The inclusion of Big Sean in the video is thereby pointless because he adds nothing to it. He’s just another face on the scene who does nothing of interest.

What would have been interesting is if Big Sean played Grande’s love interest. There is definitely a flirtation between them in the video but nothing substantial. That’s what was really missing from the video. Not just a love interest for Grande (the video would be fine if she didn’t have one) but some sort of story line. The 60s theme is good and all but it can only hold a viewers interest for so long. Grande’s video for “Right There” may have been a little over the top but at least there’s a storyline to follow, one that almost everyone knows. “Problem” just didn’t give me anything to keep my attention or make me interested.

Todorovic could have taken some cues from Christina Aguilera’s 1940s themed video for “Candyman”. Sticking with the theme the video shows different scenes from different popular spots during the time period. Although the “Problem” video changes backdrops they don’t differ that much. Other than the video effects and clothing nothing else indicates the 60s theme. So much more could’ve been done with this video and it seems like a missed opportunity.

The only part that is remotely interesting is the first 10 seconds, which Grande conveniently used as a teaser on Instagram a few days ago (also removed). Showing a dancer on the floor, moving on his hands and giving a peek of the 60’s graphics used on Iggy, it at first looks as if the video will be really cool. Then as Grande starts to sing we see the same choreography we’ve seen before and I instantly became disappointed.

In terms of presentation, Todorovic did an excellent job with the editing and 60s video effects. However, overall the video was boring producing nothing fans haven’t already seen done by Grande.

Despite the let down of the music video, the lyric video for “Problem” is very good and definitely worth a look. The actual music video, however, is not.

Hate It or Love it Week. 2

Back again for another Hate It or Love It this week. As always I’ll be taking a look at iTunes top 10 singles for the week (or really the current moment that I check it) and saying whether I hate it or love. Here we go.

1. Dark Horse by Katy Perry ft. Juicy J

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Thank you Katy for knocking down Timber a peg. I still love this song although I definitely haven’t been listening to it as much as I was last week. You go Katy!

2. Timber by Pitbull ft. Ke$ha

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I think I already made it expressly clear how much I dislike this song last week so I won’t go into it again. Definitely still hate it.

3. Say Something by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

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Love this song. One of my favorite love songs. Also, I’ve found it’s a good song to do my readings to. Very peaceful and calming. Love it!

4. Counting Stars by OneRepublic

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Speaking of songs to add to my “Study” playlist, this one’s a goodie. It’s a little more upbeat than “Say Something” but it’s still a pretty chill song. I love it.

5. Let Her Go by Passenger

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Okay I might just make a new playlist out of these songs. This is such a soft, relaxing song (despite the kind of sad lyrics). Definitely a song I’ll be listening to while I lay on my bed, flipping through my reading, and bopping my head along to the music. Love it.

6. Pompeii by Bastille

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Finally, a new one on the list. Truthfully, this isn’t really my type of music. This is definitely a song I wouldn’t have listened to of my own volition but I like it. It’s different but good. I’ve never heard of Bastille but they’re an Alternative music group made up of four guys (two of which are very attractive by the way) and they sound great. I like the vocals and the lyrics sound kind of trippy to me. When I hear it I can just imagine someone closing their eyes and dancing around in the grass, swaying their arms around. Either way, I enjoy it. I might not put it in my iTunes library but I won’t change the station if it comes on the radio.

7. Team by Lorde

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Another new edition to the list, Lorde has gotten another single onto the top 10. This song sounds like “Royals” transformed into a love song. She’s still talking about “living in a city you’ll never see on screen” but now it’s not about being with her friends but having a partner on the team with her. I think the song is cute and for a 17-year old girl, pretty deep. I love it.

8. The Monster by Eminem ft. Rihanna

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Still loving this song but it’s getting to the point where it’s starting to get annoying which may be evident by it’s tiny drop on the list. We’ll see if it still makes it on the top 10 next week.

9. Story of My Life by One Direction

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Still loving it. I don’t listen to it often and it’s not in my iTunes so I’m clearly not obsessed with it but I like it. I think it’s a cute, typical One Direction song.

10. The Man by Aloe Blacc

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Another new addition to the list. Aloe Blacc has been around a while apparently but he’s new to me. I like him. He sounds great and I can just imagine him singing this to me and I love it. He reminds of Mario a little in “Let Me Love You” because he’s basically telling a woman he will be there for her, always, and she can let everyone know because it’s true. I love it. Adding to my iTunes now.

Now that I’ve given my opinions on these songs, let me know what you think by voting for your favorite song of this week. Thanks!

Should Lea Michele Be a Pop Artist?

I love Lea Michele, truly I do. I fell in love with her as Rachel on Glee and I think she’s a phenomenal singer, which is clear by her success on Broadway and now on Glee.

However, I just don’t think Michele has a voice fit for pop music. I like her as a singer on Broadway singing ballads and belting out heartfelt songs. When she did “New York State of Mind” along with co-star, Melissa Benoist, I thought it was fantastic. She hit all those notes and I probably listened to that song on repeat for days.

But ever since she attempted to do “Baby One More Time” on Glee I have not liked her on pop songs. It just doesn’t sound right to me. Michele sounded like she was trying to hard. I know for that song she was obviously trying to embody her inner Britney but her voice just did not fit the song and there was really no way to fix that.

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Similarly, this is how I feel about her new single, “Cannonball”, from her debut album, Louder. The song, which was written by the talented Sia, is a great song and I can see why Michele wanted to sing it after the passing of her boyfriend, Cory Monteith.

Even so, I just can’t get with the song because Michele’s voice just doesn’t seem right for it. Her over enunciating of the word “cannonball” along with her attempts at stretching out notes that should just be left alone is not flattering. It’s frustrating because she has a great voice but just not for this song or this type of music.

I’m interested to hear the rest of the album when it is released. I am hoping for the best but currently I am not blown away. Although, I must say the video for the song (found below) is pretty amazing and I do appreciate that it is a tribute song to Monteith. Like I said I love the lyrics I just don’t think this is the song for her but hey, why don’t you take a listen and decide?

Dance Break

Taking a note out of Cristina and Meredith’s (Grey’s Anatomy) handbook, when I get stressed or just need a break from this crazy thing we call life, I dance. Now I don’t mean I break out into some professional choreography or anything. I just close my room door, turn up the tunes, and dance like no one’s watching (because they’re not). Well, except for that one time when my resident caught me but she just joined in so it was cool.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you do it alone or with someone, whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Just let loose and get your freak on because its a great release. If you need help picking some songs to freak out to here’s a playlist of my faves (currently). Have fun!