Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét are best friends and collaborators. The two have worked together on every one of Ariana’s five studio albums, and they built her latest album (thank u, next; read here) during late night studio and champagne sessions. Yesterday (April 1), the two released their first official single together, “MONOPOLY.”
In the vein of “7 rings,” (review here) “MONOPOLY” is built around a bouncy trap-influenced beat and anchored by playful rap/sung verses. The two trade lyrics that celebrate their record-breaking success and strong friendship. As a “thank you” to their fans, this song shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but that doesn’t excuse its inconsistency. For every clever lyric (“treat my goals like property / Collect ’em like Monopoly”) there is a painfully lazy lyric (“work so fucking hard, need a twinny twin twin”). The crown jewel of this track is the effortless melodic chemistry that Ariana and Victoria share; their vocal delivery is effervescent and sassy. At best the song is a celebration of friendship and a peek into the fluidity of Ariana’s sexuality (“I like women and men”). At worst, “MONOPOLY” is incoherent, poorly mixed, and rushed.
Ariana should be applauded for her continued reinvention of the traditional pop music release cycle. Nevertheless, if the quality of the music is markedly less than great, as is “MONOPOLY,” she may want to rethink her methods a bit.
Listen to “MONOPOLY” here.