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I didn't know it was going to be a duet and Scooter just said 'Check your email'. And Nathan just sang the hell out of it. I thought it was Brian McKnight. I'm like 'Who is this?' Honestly I wasn't expecting it. I didn't know he had that in him. I saw him perform live on one of the radio shows that we were at together and I was like, 'Damn he can sing.'"

–Ariana Grande on Almost Is Never Enough as a duet and working with Nathan Sykes

"Almost Is Never Enough" is the tenth track from Ariana Grande's debut album Yours Truly. It features British singer and Ariana's ex boyfriend Nathan Sykes. It was released through Republic Records on August 19, 2013.

It was released as a promotional single one day before the release of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to capitalise on Grande's popularity in order to drum up anticipation for the film. The song was well-received, with most critics praising Grande's vocal range and control; it debuted at #85 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #82. A longer version is included on Grande's debut studio album Yours Truly.

Background[]

"Almost Is Never Enough" was written by Grande, Harmony Samuels, Carmen Reece, Al Sherrod Lambert, Olaniyi-Akinpelu, and its producer, Moses Samuels. Grande originally recorded "Almost Is Never Enough" as a solo ballad for her album. Roughly a week later, she received an email from her manager Scooter Braun, who also manages the English boy band The Wanted. In the email was a new version of the song that had Nathan Sykes's vocal added to it.[1] Grande loved the new version and decided to keep it for her album.[2] Especially at 4:39 when Nathan sings that riff. First time she heard it she spent the whole day trying to sing it.[3]

Ariana Grande & Nathan Sykes play a couple who had a relationship that hadn’t gone right. Ariana would like to say things were going well but she knows that’s a lie and like the title states, almost is never enough to make the relationship work; you need to put full effort in. Both of them state that they didn’t feel the relationship while in it, but the mood of the song and lyrics suggest that they both want to either reconnect or they simply just miss better times.

Critical reception[]

The duet received positive reception. Idolator editor Mike Wass called "Almost Is Never Enough" a "glorious" and "soulful" anthem and praised the collaboration between the two artists; "The simple production is timeless and showcases Grande's powerful pipes superbly. And who knew Nathan could sing like that? 'Almost Is Never Enough' is a revelation all around and promises very good things for Grande's debut album." Brent Faulkner of Star Pulse found the duet to be a pleasantly surprising blend of modern and classical elements and noted that the song "should be sappy but isn't". This sentiment was mirrored by Popdust's Andrew Unterberger, who observed that the song "manages to mostly stay out of the way of its two talented young vocalists... and lets them carry it with the strength of their voices, and of the song itself. The result is a ballad that’s surprisingly mature and classic sounding." Unterberger also drew comparisons to Mariah Carey, and her Boyz II Men duet "One Sweet Day" in particular.

Trivia[]

  • The song is the second longest on the album.
  • The song was featured in the soundtrack of the "The Mortal Instruments - City Of Bones"
  • It was also covered by K-pop artist Sihyeon, from the girl k-pop group, EVERGLOW.
  • It is certified silver in the UK, making it the first nonsingle of Yours Truly to do so.

Music video[]

The music video of "Almost Is Never Enough" was filmed on August 4, 2013[4] and released on YouTube on August 19. The video features Grande and Sykes performing the song in a recording studio. It also featured a few scenes from the movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

Live performances[]

Grande and Sykes performed the song during Justin Bieber's Believe Tour several times. It was also performed on September 5, 2013 on the talk show Live! With Kelly and Michael. "Almost Is Never Enough" was also part of the setlist from her debut tour The Listening Sessions.

Gallery[]

Lyrics[]

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
I'd like to say we gave it a try
I'd like to blame it all on life
Maybe we just weren't right
But that's a lie, that's a lie

[Pre-Chorus]
And we can deny it as much as we want
But in time our feelings will show
Cause sooner or later we'll wonder why we gave up
The truth is, everyone knows

[Chorus]
Almost, almost is never enough
So close to being in love
If I would have known that you wanted me
The way I wanted you
Then maybe we wouldn't be two worlds apart
But right here in each other's arms
And we almost, we almost knew what love was
But almost is never enough

[Verse 2: Nathan Sykes]
If I could change the world overnight
There'd be no such thing as goodbye
You'll be standing right where you were
We'd get the chance we deserve

[Pre-Chorus]
Try to deny it as much as you want
But in time our feelings will show
Cause sooner or later
We'll wonder why we gave up
The truth is, everyone knows

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Nathan Sykes]
Almost, almost is never enough
So close to being in love
If I would have known that you wanted me
The way I wanted you
Then maybe we wouldn't be two worlds apart
But right here in each other's arms
And we almost, we almost knew what love was
But almost is never enough

[Bridge]
Huh, huh, baby
You know, you know, baby
Almost is never enough, baby (baby, baby, baby)
You know, hey

[Pre-Chorus]
And we can deny it as much as we want
But in time our feelings will show
Cause sooner or later
We'll wonder why we gave up
Truth is, everyone knows that

[Chorus]
Almost, almost is never enough (is never enough, babe)
We were close to being in love (so close)
If I would have known that you wanted me the way I wanted you (baby)
Then maybe we wouldn't be two worlds apart
But right here in each other's arms
And we almost, we almost knew what love was
But almost is never enough

[Outro]
Huh, huh, baby... (almost)
You know, you know, baby
Almost is never enough, baby (never)
You know, hey

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
I'd like to say we gave it a try
I'd like to blame it all on life
Maybe we just weren't right
But that's a lie, that's a lie

[Pre-Chorus]
And we can deny it as much as we want
But in time our feelings will show
Cause sooner or later we'll wonder why we gave up
The truth is, everyone knows

[Chorus]
Almost, almost is never enough
So close to being in love
If I would have known that you wanted me
The way I wanted you
Then maybe we wouldn't be two worlds apart
But right here in each other's arms
And we almost, we almost knew what love was
But almost is never enough

[Verse 2: Nathan Sykes]
If I could change the world overnight
There'd be no such thing as goodbye
You'd be standing right where you were
And we'd get the chance we deserve

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande & Nathan Sykes]
Try to deny it as much as you want
But in time our feelings will show
Cause sooner or later
We'll wonder why we gave up
Truth is, everyone knows (ohhh)

[Chorus]
Almost, almost is never enough (is never enough, babe)
We were close to being in love (so close)
If I would have known that you wanted me the way I wanted you (babe)
Then maybe we wouldn't be two worlds apart
But right here in each other's arms
And we almost, we almost knew what love was
But almost is never enough

References[]

External links[]

Yours Truly
August 30, 2013 • 46:28 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Almost Is Never EnoughBaby IBetter Left UnsaidDaydreamin'Honeymoon AvenueLovin' ItPianoPopular SongRight ThereTattooed HeartThe WayYou'll Never Know
Unreleased 3OH!3 OuttakeBoyfriend MaterialButterfliesDo You Love MeFirst TimeHumanILABLa Vie En RoseNobody Does It BetterOh, DarlingParachutePink ChampagnePlease Don't Let Me GoPut Your Hearts UpRealSandmanSaturday Love'Til We Finally MeetUnknown Nick Jonas DuetUnknown Nick Jonas BalladUnknown Sean Kingston CollaborationVoodoo LoveYoung LoveYou're My Only Shawty
Artists
Ariana GrandeBig SeanDemi LovatoGreyson ChanceJ BalvinJade NovahKing LosMac MillerMIKANathan SykesPebe SebertSean KingstonTaro HakaseThe Dap Kings • 3OH!3
Tour
The Listening Sessions
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