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Houston, we no longer have a ‘Problem’.
If you’re still not aware of who Ariana Grande is, it’s time you got familiar. The little diva with a big voice has become an undeniable force to be reckoned with this past year. Not content with her worldwide smash ‘Problem’ dominating radios this summer, her collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj ‘Bang Bang’ storming to the top of US iTunes, or her recent Teen Choice Awards wins, Ariana unleashed her marvellously camp video for ‘Break Free’ this morning.
Playing a Barbarella-style space agent, Ariana successfully navigates foreign planets to save both her friends and herself from the clutches of evil aliens, while still finding time to have a dance party aboard Zedd’s disco spaceship. As I’m sure you can tell from my description, the video is not exactly the most hard-hitting thing you’ll watch today. The visual effects aren’t particularly impressive either, but the retro style of the CGI and light hearted plot lend themselves well to the song itself (which features the wonderfully nonsensical lyric ‘I only wanna die alive’). It’s as tongue in cheek as pop videos get (and bears more than a passing similarity to the last video with a pop princess set in space), but it’s pretty clear that Ariana is in on the joke.
‘Break Free’ is a major improvement on the lacklustre visuals for ‘Problem’ and is easily her best effort to date. Up until now, Ariana’s issue has been finding a way to match her aesthetic to her quirky and effervescent interview persona, but she’s really hit the jack pot with this one. Her sophomore album, My Everything, is released in the UK on August 22, and everything we’ve heard from it thus far suggests that she may well have the album of the year on her hands. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s not bad for a 21 year old who made her debut last year.