"One Last Time" is a plead by Grande to a boyfriend she wronged, to give her one more chance. Grande's vocals shine and the production is skillful — as would be expected, when Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Ilya and Savan Kotecha all work on it. The theme of unhealthy relationships continues throughout "Why Try", "Break Free", and "Best Mistake", although the EDM production by Zedd on "Break Free" provides a welcome relief from the numerous piano ballads.
The tracklist tiptoes dangerously close to the line of too many collaborations in a row, with five tracks featuring other artists in a row. A standout collaboration is "Break Your Heart Right Back" featuring Childish Gambino, which samples "Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious Big and "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross. It's certainly a single possibility.
"Love Me Harder" and "Hands On Me", featuring The Weeknd and A$AP Ferg respectively, push Grande further away from innocent Nickolodeon child star territory, featuring lyrics such as "Can you feel the pressure between your hips?/I'll make it feel like the first time" and "You just keep your eyes on my you know what".
Personally, I'm surprised that Bang Bang was chosen for the deluxe edition of the album, as opposed to another track such as Hands On Me. As I've mentioned in the July singles rundown, it has massive summer party/dance floor potential.
The end of the album is interesting, with Grande concluding that an abstract "you" doesn't know her. It's certainly a powerful statement, but doesn't really fit for a final track.
Overall, Grande shines vocally, but there are too many collaborations — and too many ballads that don't mean much or mean the same thing. 7/10
Standout tracks are "Problem", "One More Time", and "Break Your Heart Right Back".