“R.E.M” is the fourth track off “Sweetener”, Ariana Grande’s latest album. It is one of the only tracks on the album that isn’t a completely new and original song. The hook and tune are based off of Beyoncé’s left-over demo called “Wake Up” that didn’t make it onto her self-titled album in 2013, “Beyoncé”.
“R.E.M.” stands for “rapid eye movement”, which is a sleeping cycle stage where vivid dreams, body movement, increased heart rate and sexual arousal can occur. Grande opens the track with “last night, boy, I met you, yeah/when I was asleep”, and in the first verse Grande sings about how she knew she loved the person she’s singing to the minute she met them: “‘Excuse me, um, I love you’/I know that’s not the way to start a conversation, trouble”.
Grande carries on singing how she knows that she’s going to marry this person: “think I heard some wedding bells, shh, keep it to yourself”. The chorus consists of Grande saying that she doesn’t want to wake up, because the person she’s singing to is: “such a dream”, so she’s worried that it’s all too good to be true and she’s simply just having a really good dream. The second verse features Pharrell Williams (who also produced this track) singing in the background. The lyrics “I could buy you anything, but I cannot buy you”, as well as: “I don’t just wanna touch you/ I’m just tryna turn two single people into a couple”, suggest that Grande feels more for this person than just lust or sexual desire, and wants to be with them not only intimately. However, she does also compliment their sexual skills.
When on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”, Grande explained that “R.E.M” was probably her favourite song on the entire album, and thought it would be her fans too – although her younger fans were surprised by some of the sexually explicit lyrics.
There is currently no music video for this song.
Release date: 17th August, 2018
Song Length: 4:05
Songwriter/s: Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams
Background Vocals: Pharrell Williams
Produced by: Pharrell Williams
Album: Sweetener (2018)