Has the phrase 'a festive cash grab' ever been so relevant? I champion Ariana Grande a lot. I think she's an extremely talented young girl - I even wrote a feature about her doughnut-licking incident, defending her against the press hounds intent on tearing her down. But this surprise EP, 'Christmas & Chill', is nothing short of disappointing.
As a surprise release, fans were excited. Ariana's due to drop a new album and, this is the closest thing we've got to new music from her for a while, aside from a couple of singles (both of which have been very good!)
Any festive cheer the songs may have ever had is driven out of the record by overproduction, cheap autotune and electronic beats. At times, Ariana's voice sounds monotonous and is enough to lull you into a false sense of security. Pay attention and you'll realise that this simply just isn't a very good collection of tracks.
'Winter Things' is perhaps the closest Ariana gets to giving something worthwhile. The other four songs and introduction are quite frankly abysmal, which is why here I can only afford to give the EP a single star.
Ariana is fantastic, but this EP is not. Let's hope her new album in the New Year brings something a little more enchanting to our ears.