With all the anticipation of Ariana Grande's third album, Dangerous Woman, many will soon enjoy new songs that we'll be putting on repeat for months to come. It is also a reasonable time to reflect on some of Ariana's past work that really laid a foundation for her presence as a A-list artist.
Several would agree that the year of 2014 marked a considerable milestone in Ariana's music career. From the breakthrough 90s pop inspired sound of "Problem" to the EDM summer jam of "Break Free", fans got to experience a plethora of different music genres Ariana willingly brought to the table. Her sophomore album, My Everything, was a huge commercial success, landing her a second No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 and thereafter spawning five singles.
However, with all of Ariana's hits thus far, "Love Me Harder" (feat. The Weeknd), really showcased what she can achieve at her very best. While the song may have not garnered as much attention as some of her other singles, "Love Me Harder" is a great example of near perfection in the vein of R&B. In terms of instrumentation, it is very well produced and layered with the thick swell of the chorus tying it altogether. The push-and-pull interplay with the The Weeknd is definitely a highlight of the song as the two play off each other pretty convincingly.
"Love Me Harder" was a breakthrough in terms of where Ariana wanted to take her music delving into more mature themes. It seems fitting that it was the last song recorded for My Everything, and fans can see this transition to a mature side of Ariana in her some of her recent singles such as "Dangerous Woman" and "Let Me Love You". This song also serves as evidence that Ariana can deliver outside of her wheelhouse of pop music and create a potent R&B hit of her own. "Love Me Harder" can also be credited as the song that jumpstarted The Weeknd to reach mainstream success with some of his own hits landing on the charts soon after.
It is refreshing to see Ariana venture off into developing a more mature sound for herself. While fans will always appreciate her debut songs off of Yours Truly, there is something great about how "Love Me Harder" paved the way as the first song to really tap into these more deeper themes. It is personally my favourite song from Ariana not only of how revolutionary it was at the time, but because of how brillantly framed it is thus adding to its incredible replay value. It sounds great after nearly two years of its release and still proves to have the kind of everlasting stardust great songs possess.