“Breakfast at Tiffany’s and bottles of bubbles...”
From the first line, Ariana Grande wastes no time in flaunting her affluence on the new single “7 rings,” a habit that continues throughout the track. She cleverly borrows the melody to The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things” for her verses, a pleasant surprise that suites the single’s theme well. A bubbly, hypnotic synth loops under claims of wealth and status to make you feel like you’re driving a brand new Lamborghini rather than your ’95 Honda Civic—this is the song you’re going to pump as you get ready for your next night out and on the way to the club.
If only it was the Ariana Grande we have come to know and love. The song lacks her typical sheen, with depthless generalities about “lashes and diamonds, ATM machines,” and “receipts . . . lookin’ like phone numbers,” all taunted in a pseudo-rap that I can’t help but chuckle at. Stylistically, the track screams Beyoncé; its low, breathy, articulate vocals trickle straight down from her 2013 self-titled album, while the double-time triplets in the bridge sound like they were plucked right off of the iconic “Apes**t” rap (maybe Beyoncé’s unreleased demo of this song will leak and we’ll get to hear how it should have been sung).
This might have been forgiven had Grande traded her style for one comparably unique. However, whereas the previous single “thank u, next” was refreshing with its message of love, gratitude, acceptance, honesty, forgiveness and growth, “7 rings” is disappointingly reactive to the current musical landscape. The money, the diamonds, the luxury, the icy, looping synth, the uninspired trap beat—it all feels tired and almost lazy in a post-Bodak Yellow world. Honestly, why bother singing about red-bottoms when Cardi B monopolized them in 2017? But, I guess every (presumed) breakup album needs its sassy kiss-off, so while we wait to hit the reset button with Ari’s next single, roll down your windows, turn the bass up, and go buy some of your favorite things.
Watch the video for "7 rings" below: