Single Review: "Problem" by Ariana Grande | Inquirer Entertainment

Single Review: “Problem” by Ariana Grande

12:10 AM August 05, 2014

Photo from

Who knew the young woman with that squeaky sounding voice from a Nickelodeon show is this good, in fact, as a performer and recording artist ?

Ariana Grande surprised a lot of people when she showed a lot of promise in her singing abilities (upper belting and exhibiting a smoky vocal texture) to the point she has been compared to some of the greatest female artists of all time.


At present, with her soon to be released sophomore album ‘My Everything’, Ariana Grande has scored another huge hit with its lead single “Problem”. Proof of this, “Problem” has reached as high as the Number 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. That high ranking is well deserved and for that rare honor alone, this single has to be reviewed.



What is the meaning of this single ?


From Ariana’s end, her message of evaluating first the situation–in this case, making a hard decision of whether returning to an old flame would be wise– makes “Problem” immediately relatable to all listeners. And when we think of it, haven’t almost all of us been through that phase ? As a listener, if a song can connect with you on any level, then that becomes a plus factor for it.

The bold line taken from the chorus “… I got one less problem without ya!” takes the listener to the then state of mind of Ariana deliberating whether she should give a former boyfriend another chance, or she should just move on altogether to find that better person.

While we all have heard of tracks like this one in the past, “Problem” manages to be a somewhat refreshing take on a theme that we have heard countless times before. But “Problem” becomes different in the manner the lyrics were arranged and in the said song’s strong structure. Thus, Ariana and her management deserve props for that !


What is the overall production value of this single ?

“Problem” is full of infectious energy and packed with so much upbeat tempo that it almost automatically sets itself apart from the rest of the competition Ariana is going against.

It was a smart move on the part of the producers to not rely on the all too familiar EDM influences such as the loud dance beats, fuzzy wall of sounds, and all the other common traits of the said genre. Instead, its incorporation of two musical instruments that are rarely heard these days in mainstream music–the saxophone and the trumpet–makes “Problem” different for today’s young listeners. On an added note, historically wise, the usage of those two said musical instruments just “screams” throwback to the early years of 90’s urban pop music. This becomes another plus for this single!

Now, when it comes to the choice of guest artist, Iggy Azalea complements well with Ariana’s sweet and soaring vocal delivery. And while some would question the inclusion of Iggy for this type of track, to Iggy’s credit, though, she, in fact, adds to the “whole nostalgic flavor” of this particular track. I say this because Iggy’s rapping style does remind me so much of the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the girl group TLC.

Wait, I just have to say this, since we are also discussing a bygone decade in popular music. For the kids out there, when you speak of the 90’s, TLC was one of the biggest and most influential groups of that decade. And who knows, maybe, that musical influence was meant to be heard for “Problem”.

All in all, this is such a refreshing single. Instantly enjoyable, it does bring back musical elements from the past which are incorporated in a manner that you will know you are still listening to a modern track. If Ariana continues to release strong singles like this one, then she could easily win over more “old school” fans who are looking for the kind of music they were listening to growing up.

One last point, judging solely on the 90’s nostalgic feel of this single, if “Problem” by Ariana had been released in the early 90’s, I believe it would have still turned out to be a hit back then!

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Thumbs Up!

TAGS: Ariana Grande, Music, My Everything, Pop, Problem

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.