Ariana Grande has been in absolute control of the pop world over the last year. Her album Dangerous Woman - see our review here - smashed all expectations and was a confident, fun, and all-around enjoyable pop experience. Her new song 'They Don't Know' is on the Trolls OST, and it's a really sweet track.
A lot of Dangerous Woman had a more serious vibe to it, or at least not deliberately silly. 'They Don't Know' is the perfect amount of sweetness and fun for a children's movie and a successful pop hit. The song is brought in my beatboxing provided by Justin Timberlake, who's track 'Can't Stop The Feeling!' from the soundtrack made big splashes upon its release. The instrumental is pretty understated, the bassline being the most prominent element of it. Snaps and a programmed beat make up the beat, while a few dinky synths come in for the pre-chorus, funky guitars brightening and fattening up the chorus. The production feels really tight here, too - it's perfectly mixed to be a pop sensation.
The song exudes love. Grande is singing about everything great about being in love. Her sweet, flowing melodies dance through a sunny sky and across rainbows while she sings "They don't know, they don't know, they don't know about us... They don't know about what we do, and it's true..." in such happy way. This song, as MTV put it, is what "putting rainbows, fireworks, and candy into a blender and pouring it into your headphones" sounds like. She becomes a little more serious and powerful in the bridge, which exudes a hip-hop flair, but it immediately kicks back in to the cheerful ode to love.
Ariana Grande knows how to make a good pop song. All of her singles are popular for a reason - not because she has a giant fanbase following her (well, that's part of it), but because she can make poppy, fun, and catchy tracks like it's no one's business. This song really shows that. If it was still summer, 'They Don't Know' would be blasting on everyone's car stereos. I guess we'll have to start taking autumn beach visits just so we can jam out to this track on the ride there.
Rating: 87 / 100