Ariana Grande and “Charlie’s Angels” fans have been impatiently waiting on the soundtrack for the remake of the iconic movie — in theaters Nov. 15 — since it was first announced months ago. When the world learned that Grande would be taking on the curation and production (as well as being prominently featured on many of the tracks), we all did a collective gasp.
The Grammy-winning artist has not taken a break from music since beginning her “Sweetener” album cycle nearly two years ago. Releasing yet another album, “thank u, next,” less than six months after “Sweetener,” as well as embarking on a world tour and co-writing new music both for herself and others (have you heard Normani’s “Motivation”?), Grande doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Adding the “Charlie’s Angels” soundtrack to her schedule seems almost impossible. Yet somehow she did it, and per usual, it’s fantastic. The album is jam-packed with legendary female artists, some new names that are really breaking through at the moment, and of course, plenty from the “God is a woman” singer herself. Below, I will go through my favorites. Spoiler alert: It’s almost every single song.
1. “Don’t Call Me Angel” by Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey
The lead single off the album, “Don’t Call Me Angel,” really brought the project into the spotlight. Everyone started to freak out when they found out three of the biggest names in contemporary pop music were coming together on one track. Though some have complained that the song is a bit brash and feels thrown together (there is a lot of debate over Del Rey’s verse), I still think it’s a bop. The repetitive bell chimes make you feel like a bad–s, the lyrics are all about female empowerment and it is overall just a really fun, unique way to introduce listeners to the album. I mean, it inspired my Halloween costume, so that should say something about it.
2. “Bad to You” by Ariana Grande, Normani and Nicki Minaj
This song was originally meant to be on Grande’s “Sweetener” album featuring vocals from Dua Lipa. However, Lipa explained that they just couldn’t make their schedules work to record it, so it was pushed. And it has finally found its home with Normani and Minaj on the “Charlie’s Angels” soundtrack, which seems fitting given its subject matter and general style. “Bad to You” is perfect for the trio and just wouldn’t have felt right on “Sweetener.”
3. “Nobody” by Ariana Grande and Chaka Khan
Okay, this is not a drill. Grande really got Chaka Khan on the album. The Chaka Khan. Her power. Her pull. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint. The pair’s voices blend together so perfectly on the track, it almost seems too good to be true. The song is about a woman asserting that just because she wants to go home with a man, that doesn’t make her any less independent — a strong and much-needed jab at the slut-shaming that often occurs in certain misguided feminist movements. But the best part is most definitely the rapid “Who gonna get ya, get ya mad like me?” line. Goosebumps every time.
4. “Bad Girls (Gigamesh Remix)” by Donna Summer
This remix of the classic 1979 Donna Summer song being on the soundtrack truly speaks to how iconic it is. I mean, it’s Donna Summer! “Bad Girls!” How can you not stan? The remix is just as fun and funky as the original, and I think Summer would have been very proud to have it included. But, just in case you haven’t, still go listen to the original. Required listening, people.
5. “How It’s Done” by Kash Doll, Kim Petras, ALMA and Stefflon Don
The opener to the album, “How It’s Done” features some of the best up-and-coming artists of our age. The track is upbeat, dancey and all about securing the bag and getting things done. It’s probably the most new age (yet intrinsically early 2000s) pop song on the entire soundtrack. If you feel like getting up and moving, this is the perfect one for you. So what are you waiting for? Press play and get going.
6. “Got Her Own” by Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét
Any big Grande fan knows about “Got Her Own.” She and her frequent collaborator Monét have been teasing it for the longest time. We have only had audio clips and one or two surprise concert performance videos for what feels like forever. It felt like the two were always saying that they wanted to release it (many speculated it would be included on a deluxe edition of “thank u, next”), but they never did. Those days are over. We finally have our hands on “Got Her Own” and it is absolutely incredible. Keeping with the independent woman theme of the rest of the album, “Got Her Own” suits the “Charlie’s Angels” soundtrack wonderfully.
7. “How I Look on You” by Ariana Grande
In a not-so-veiled dig at her ex Pete Davidson, Grande laments the struggle of being used by a boy for her fame on “How I Look on You.” There are clear connections to that relationship in lines like “Cover on the magazine in just two weeks” and “We step out on a Friday night / new front page, it’s a cute headline,” two things that very quickly occurred when she started dating Davidson. And the response would not be that unreasonable, given how Davidson repeatedly continued to bring up their relationship on “Saturday Night Live” after the breakup, even after stating that he didn’t date her for the relevance. Though Grande has previously tried to focus the public’s attention on the good aspects of their relationship on songs like “thank u, next,” “How I Look on You” departs from this narrative and is more reminiscent of her tweets responding to Davidson’s jokes on “SNL.”