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Yours Truly

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Fans can expect from my album a lot of great music. It's going to be like pages lifted from my diary. It's very honest and personal. Every song, every lyric, is very true to my life, so my fans will be able to hear a lot of what I was going through in the past year and a half while I was writing the album.

– Ariana Grande on her debut studio album

Yours Truly (originally titled Daydreamin) is Ariana Grande's debut studio album. It was released through Republic Records on September 3, 2013. The album was recorded starting on August 10, 2011 and finished in June 2013.

Background

Early recording as Daydreamin

Yours Truly is the result of three years of work. The project underwent significant conceptual and sonic changes throughout that time. Grande began working on the album while she was filming Victorious and formally started to work on it with a record label after she was signed to Republic Records on August 10, 2011.

On September 10, 2013, Grande already had twenty songs prepared and was going through the process of narrowing it down to thirteen. The first single, a bubblegum pop song called "Put Your Hearts Up" was released on December 12, 2011. The single was aimed at young audiences, perhaps intending to cater to Grande's core audience, which at that time was almost entirely made up by kids who knew her from Victorious.

During an interview in June 2012, Grande described everything on the album as being "50s, 60s doo-wop-inspired" and revealed that two new singles were going to be released before the album, one of which was called "Do You Love Me" and featured SkyBlu.

Other songs that Grande had named (and later leaked) as being part of the album included "Honeymoon Avenue", "Voodoo Love", "Pink Champagne", "Boyfriend Material", "You're My Only Shawty", "Tattooed Heart", and "Daydreamin'".

In early 2013, Grande met up with her label and expressed dissatisfaction with the direction the album was taking. In several interviews during 2013, she admitted to saying that she completely disliked her debut single, "Put Your Hearts Up" and confessed she wanted to make the type of music she grew up listening to, which was, "urban pop, 90s music."

The album's "throwback" feel was then reworked as being reminiscent of urban pop from the late 1990s to early 2000s, as opposed to its original 1950s and 1960s doo-wop sound. Ariana Grande said in an interview with Total Girl Philippines magazine, "My album is going to be pop, but it's also old-school inspired and has a little bit of a 1950's feel to it." On another interview, Ariana said, "My album is throwback Motown. It’s like modern Motown inspired pop and soul." [1] All of the old songs on Grande's album were scrapped, except for three which were reworked for the final cut: "Honeymoon Avenue", "Tattooed Heart" and "Daydreamin'".

Renaming

Although the album was originally called Daydreamin, Grande revealed in an interview with Power 106 that it was renamed to Yours Truly after she decided that the album felt like a love letter she wanted to sign.

Singles

The lead single, "The Way", was released on March 25, 2013. The song features American rapper Mac Miller.

The second single, "Baby I" was released on July 22, 2013.

The third single, "Right There", was released on August 6, 2013. The song features American rapper Big Sean.

Promotional singles

A promotional single, "Almost Is Never Enough", featuring Nathan Sykes of The Wanted, was released on August 19, 2013.

Promotion

To promote her debut single "The Way" which made its premiere On Air with Ryan Seacrest on March 25, 2013, Grande visited various radio stations, including: Y-100 Miami, 93.3 FM, Z100, KIIS-FM and 99-7 Now.

Grande performed "The Way" at several Top 40 radio concerts, including KIIS-FM's Wango Tango concert on May 11, 2013 in Los Angeles, 101.3 KDWB's Star Party concert on May 17, 2013 in Minneapolis, Kiss 108's Kiss Concert 2013 event in Boston, 103.3 AMP Radio's Birthday Bash concert on June 30, 2013 also in Boston and Mix 93.3's Red White & Boom concert on July 5, 2013 in Kansas City. Her debut televised performance was on May 29, 2013 where she performed "The Way" live with Mac Miller on Ellen. Her second televised performance of "The Way" aired on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon during the episode dated June 14, 2013.

On August 7, 2013, Grande revealed the official tracklist via iTunes, and she also made pre-orders for the album available.

Critical reception

Yours Truly has received positive reviews from critics, with much praise going to her throwback to 90s R&B music and her vocals, with critics comparing them to Mariah Carey.

Yours Truly was met with very positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 86, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 5 reviews. Nick Cattuci of Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A– grade, describing it as "one of the most purely enjoyable albums of the year" and praising Grande's "lithe, Broadway-honed voice." Lucas Villa of Examiner awarded the record four out of five stars, writing, "[Grande's] big and theatrical voice flutters in all the right places on this sugary sweet album of love tunes." Gregory Hicks of The Michigan Daily gave the album a mixed review, saying "most tracks are of quality composition, lyrically and melodically, but beat usage becomes excessive at times."

The Huffington Post gave the album a positive review, calling it one of the year's best album debuts, stating that her album is in "near-perfect form on her debut, mainly thanks to her Mariah Carey-esque vocals and songs written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds." Shamiyah Kelley of the The Daily Reville gave the album a grade "A", stating that "These days, it’s difficult to find a singer that actually has a great voice, but when Grande sings, it takes me back to The Emancipation of Mimi from Mariah Carey’s glory days". She concluded her review by saying "there was a lot of anticipation for this album with high expectations, and Grande delivered." The Honesty Hour were mixed with the album, praising “Tattooed Heart,” “Piano,” and “Honeymoon Avenue” as the standout tracks of the album, but felt Grande needed to train more on her vocals. The site gave the album a 3.5 out of 5 stars, stating "as a whole, Ariana’s debut is very solid. It is cohesive, written with understandability, and is sonically-pleasing."

Tour

Grande has embarked on her debut tour titled The Listening Sessions in support of Yours Truly. It started on August 13, 2013 and ended on September 22, 2013.

Trivia

  • On August 1, 2013, Ariana revealed the official artwork for Yours Truly, which features her kneeling on a bed of roses in front of a pink background. Due to fan criticism, she quickly unveiled a new cover, which simply featured the singer standing beneath a spotlight in a black and white image.
  • Ariana tweeted the name of the album on July 19, 2013.[2]
  • Ariana has writing credits for 5 out of the 12 songs on the standard edition of Yours Truly.
  • The first song recorded was "Tattooed Heart".
  • Singles were remixed an put on her first remix album The Remix.
  • This is Ariana's only album without a title track (both My Everything and Dangerous Woman feature a title track on the standard edition of the album).

Gallery

Track listing

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Honeymoon Avenue" Antonio Dixon, Dennis "Aganee" Jenkins, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Khristopher Riddick-Tynes, Leon Thomas III, Maurice Wade, Roahn Hylton, Thomas Lee Brown, Travis Sayles, Victoria McCants Edmonds, Dixon, The Rascals, Tommy Brown, Matt Squire, Sayles 5:39
2. "Baby I" Edmonds, Dixon, Patrick "J. Que" Smith Edmonds, Dixon 3:17
3. "Right There" (featuring Big Sean) Harmony Samuels, H "Carmen Reece" Culver, J. "Lonny" Bereal, James "J-Doe" Smith, Al Sherrod Lambert, Ariana Grande, Sean Anderson, Jeff Lorber H. Samuels, Jo Blaq 4:06
4. "Tattooed Heart" Grande, Riddick-Tynes, Thomas III, Dixon, Edmonds, Squire, Sean Foreman Edmonds, Dixon, The Rascals, Squire, Nathaniel Motte 3:14
5. "Lovin' It" Riddick-Tynes, Thomas III, Ricky "SlikkMuzik" Offord, Dixon, Edmonds, Mark Morales, Kirk S. Robinson, Nathaniel V Robinson, Mark C. Rooney, Roy C. Hammond Edmonds, Dixon, The Rascals, Offord 3:03
6. "Piano" Grande, H. Samuels, Jahmaal Noel Fyffe, Parker Ighile, Anisa Moghaddam, Moses Ayo Samuels, Olaniyi Michael Akinkunmi H. Samuels, Mo-Keyz, Mikey, Jo Blaq 3:53
7. "Daydreamin'" Squire, Brown, McCants Squire, Brown 3:30
8. "The Way" (featuring Mac Miller) H. Samuels, Amber Streeter, Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Malcolm McCormick, Brenda Russell H. Samuels, Sauce, Grande 3:46
9. "You'll Never Know" Riddick-Tynes, Thomas III, Edmonds, Dixon Edmonds, Dixon, The Rascals 3:33
10. "Almost Is Never Enough" (featuring Nathan Sykes) Grande, H. Samuels, H. "Carmen Reece" Culver, Lambert M. Samuels, Akinkunmi H. Samuels, Mo-Keyz, Mikey, Jo Blaq, Reece, Talay Riley, Mark Asari 5:26
11. "Popular Song" (Mika featuring Ariana Grande) Mika, Priscilla Renea, Mathieu Jomphe, Stephen Schwartz Greg Wells, Mika, Nick Littlemore, Jason Nevins 3:21
12. "Better Left Unsaid" Grande, H. Samuels, Courtney Harrell, Lambert, M. Samuels, Akinkunmi H. Samuels, Mo-Keyz, Mikey, Jo Blaq, Sauce 3:31
iTunes Store bonus track
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "The Way" (Spanglish Version) (featuring Mac Miller) H. Samuels, Streeter, Lambert, Sparks, McCormick, Russell H. Samuels, Sauce, Grande, Edgar Cortazar, Mark Portmann 3:46
Japan Edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "The Way" (JdB Radio) (featuring Mac Miller) H. Samuels, Streeter, Lambert, Sparks, McCormick, Russell H. Samuels, Sauce, Grande, JdB 4:24
14. "Baby I" (Cosmic Dawn Radio Edit) Edmonds, Dixon, Smith Edmonds, Dixon, Cosmic Dawn 3:59
15. "Right There" (7th Heaven Radio Edit) (featuring Big Sean) H. Samuels, Culver, Bereal, Smith, Lambert, Grande, Anderson, Lorber H. Samuels, Jo Blaq, 7th Heaven 4:03
Latin America bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "The Way" (Spanglish Version) (featuring Mac Miller) H. Samuels, Streeter, Lambert, Sparks, McCormick, Russell H. Samuels, Sauce, Grande, Edgar Cortazar, Mark Portmann 3:46
14. "The Way" (Spanglish Version) (featuring J Balvin) H. Samuels, Streeter, Lambert, Sparks, McCormick, Russell H. Samuels, Sauce, Grande, Edgar Cortazar, Mark Portmann 3:46

References

Yours Truly
September 3, 2013 • 46:28 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Almost Is Never EnoughBaby IBetter Left UnsaidDaydreamin'Honeymoon AvenueLovin' ItPianoPopular SongRight ThereTattooed HeartThe WayYou'll Never Know
Unreleased Boyfriend MaterialDirect ContactDo You Love MeLa Vie En RoseNobody Does It BetterPink ChampagneStick AroundSuitcaseVoodoo LoveYou're My Only Shawty
Artists
Ariana GrandeBig SeanMac MillerMIKANathan Sykes
Tour
The Listening Sessions Tour
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