The filler tracks on this album are the actual filling — tracks 4 to 9 are sandwiched between the three opening songs and the three closers.
There’s a strong pivot towards hip hop in this album, but save for 7 rings and break up, the more hip hop heavy tracks are forgettable.
On the pop side of things, NASA is a fun highlight. Here’s hoping we get a space-themed video that’s a sequel to Break Free.
Songs cut: bloodline, fake smile, bad idea, make up, ghostin, and in my head.
Best song: thank u, next
Sweetener is an album that isn’t afraid to experiment. My favorite tracks are the weird ones, like the light is coming and R.E.M. It’s cool to see such a massively successful pop star take risks like these, especially when they pay off.
Much like Ari’s past two albums, the tracklist also includes too many off-the-shelf formulaic songs. Tracks like everytime and borderline (featuring a disappointing Missy Elliott verse) could be sung by pretty much any pop star out there right now.
That’s not to say those tracks are bad. What I’m saying is that next to pop perfection like God is a woman, some tracks just don’t hold up.
Songs cut: blazed, successful, borderline, pete davidson, and get well soon.
Best song: God is a woman