Ariana Grande – “Into You”
On 2016’s Dangerous Woman, we witnessed Ariana turn a corner and hit her stride as an artist: one who became aware of her strengths and how to best utilize them. Sure, Yours Truly and My Everything demonstrated flashes of brilliance, but even those moments sounded more like question marks than resounding statements – as if Grande was testing the water to figure out which end of the pool had just the right temperature. It wasn’t until Dangerous Woman that is felt like she had it all figured out and was ready to throw everything she had at us. “Into You” represents the culmination of her songwriting maturation, and better yet, it sounds astoundingly effortless. It’s carefree reflection – a fun, flirty summer jam.
“I’m so into you I can barely breathe” is the breathy utterance that captivates us during the leading seconds of the track, and one can almost feel the sweat beading up on his/her forehead as the club begins to heat up. “Close ain’t close enough, til we’ve crossed that line” has you feeling the magnetic draw of the person dancing with you, your bodies beginning to intertwine. “Look what you started, the temperature’s rising in here…is this gonna happen?” It’s vintage Ariana, teasing us with her sultry vocals and suggestive lyrics until the upbeat chorus bursts through – “A little less conversation and a little more touch my body” – an excerpt that headlines a song destined for clubs and car rides alike. With a thumping, rhythm-driven backbeat, there is no shortage of danceability to the track either. It may be surface-level in just about every sense of the phrase, but it’s been a while since we’ve had a song this basic in premise offer so much to listeners. Grande hits every check mark along the way here, and the result is a piece that simply works. It rolls on all cylinders, never trying to be more than it is while also never failing to fulfill its precise purpose. “Into You” is pure pop gold.