“When I went to listen to the song, I immediately heard all kinds of weird things in the rhythm: that the chords were falling on weak beats, that the downbeat was displaced, that the drum pattern was misaligned somehow. I wasn’t alone in hearing these things…The song might be intended to be romantic, but it’s so chilly and posthuman sounding that it could be a love song about robots. Pop music is weird right now!”—Ethan Hein, “What is going on in this Ariana Grande song?” EthanHein.com. February 19, 2020
I don’t understand what Ethan is saying, but if I can get my head wrapped around it, it seems like there’s something interesting going on here. Who knew there was so much going on in an Ariana Grande song?