ariana grande

Alright, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Ariana Grande‘s new single, much like “The Way,” sounds exactly like a Mariah Carey song.

From the breathy “oh baby!” chants, to that breezy, early ’90’s R&B throwback sound, to the whistle notes and everything in between, it’s all sorts of Mimi-lite — even if she doesn’t quite possess that Guinness World Record-winning 7-octave range.

And, much like “The Way,” it’s an absolutely fantastic song.

“Baby I” is a fluttery summery groove full of finger snaps and bouncy drum beats that plays like an instant Top 10 smash from the jump, as the talented 20-year-old Victorious songstress effortlessly alternates between powerhouse belting and melodic crooning with ease. “See baby, I been feelin’ you / Before I knew what feelings were about,” she lusciously swoons. (I haven’t done an exact “baby” lyrical count yet, but it’s certainly up there with any Britney classic.)

“The Way” and “Baby I” are beyond impressive for a debut singer (clearly, if they both sound like classic Mariah tracks.) Plus, the song fits in perfectly with the growing trend of revitalizing that early ’90’s R&B sound in pop.

For those bemoaning the lack of true powerhouse voices on pop radio today, Ariana’s seriously supplying the antidote.

“Baby I” was released on July 22. (iTunes)