GRAPHIC BY EMMA CHANG
By COLLEEN GAPUZAN
The only album we’ll never say “Thank U, Next” to…
On Feb. 8, pop-vocalist Ariana Grande released her long awaited album titled Thank U, Next. Ever since she released her hit single “Thank U, Next” two months after the release of her previous album Sweetener, fans were ecstatic to know that her newest album would make its debut in 2019.
Prior to the album’s release, Ariana Grande released her top single “Thank U, Next” which still remains on the Billboard 200 chart. In early November of 2018, the song broke the record for the most streams on Spotify for a song in a single day by a female artist, with almost 8.2 million streams globally.
Currently, Ariana Grande is aiming to secure the number one debut spot on the Billboard 200 chart for her entire album, earning her fourth Billboard 200 number one total and second in less than six months, after her album Sweetener. Needless to say, it’s not a surprise that our favorite pop princess popped off again.
The singer’s album starts off with “imagine,” a tender R&B ballad about Grande’s denial of her past failed relationships. The song talks about a certain fantasy of being with a person you love; in which the audience can totally relate to. Aside from Grande’s dreamy vocals, her audience was stunned to have heard her incorporation of whistle tones toward the end of the song, finishing the ballad off exceptionally strong.
The second song off her album titled “needy” is definitely one of her more relatable songs, which speaks to the audience about being very infatuated with a significant other. Grande sings, “If you take too long to hit me back, I can’t promise you how I’ll react…I’m obsessive and I love too hard, good at overthinking with my heart.” For most people, these lyrics weren’t less than the utter truth. Sometimes we tend to become so obsessed with love or trying to find a significant other, in which this song heavily relates on.
The third song in her album was also one of her more identifiable singles titled “NASA.” Unlike her first two more softer ballads, this song is more upbeat, and addresses how space or “time off” is beneficial in relationships. The singer goes on to say through the song how there will be some nights when you don’t want to necessarily be with your significant other—and that’s totally acceptable.
The fourth song, “bloodline,” talks about not settling with a significant other and instead just living in the moment. Sometimes, when you take interest in a person, you might just see them as maybe a crush, but not anyone you would be ready to settle down with. The fifth song “fake smile,” takes the listeners to a more intimate state as Grande opens up on how not everything you see on screen and in the media is true. Grande sings, “I can’t fake another smile, I can’t fake like I’m alright…And I won’t say I’m feeling fine, after what I been through, I can’t lie.” These lyrics encapsulate Grande’s vulnerability to her audience on the importance of genuinity, especially through dark, morbid times such as the Manchester Arena shooting two years ago.
The sixth song in her album titled “bad idea” is about Grande discussing several “bad ideas” that she has, and what she wants to do with her lover. However, she only wants him to try to “numb the pain” and to forget about her exes, and herself. Often times when we feel overwhelmed with our emotions, we tend to do things out of spite or without thinking of the effects it may cause. In this song, it gives the fans a feel of what it’s like to just blatantly do things to hopefully keep our mind occupied. The seventh track, “make up,” has more intimate lyrics, which captures the idea of enjoyment of making up with your significant other after an argument. The song delivers a play-on-words with relationships and beauty products, thus the title, “make up.”
The eighth song in Grande’s album titled “ghostin” is probably one her more powerful singles vocally. She sings, “I know it breaks your heart when I cry again over him, I know that it breaks your heart when I cry again.” Grande goes on to talk about the melancholy feeling when you are being ghosted, or when someone you love disappears without explanation. Many fans have speculated that the song might be for Grande’s ex, Mac Miller. In recent tweets, she mentioned “u in my dreams that’s why i sleep all the time.” A lot of her audience presumed that the singer was talking about her late ex Miller after his recent death, and was a way to express how much she missed him.
The ninth song, “in my head,” talks about being in love with a person whom you may have envisioned. Grande sings about how she fell in love with a version of someone she created in her head, to later find out that, in reality, the person was actually the opposite.
Grande’s album finishes off strong with Tracks 10 and 11, “7 rings” and “Thank U, Next,” her chart-topping singles that she released prior to the album release. In the song “7 rings,” Grande talks about “spoiling her friends with her riches” with luxurious items in what her audience is calling it the ultimate “friendship anthem.” After that, the hit single “Thank U, Next” follows which was a song addressing all of Grande’s exes and instead, to focus on herself and the importance of self-love.
The album concludes with a recent new chart-topper titled, “break up with your boyfriend, i’m bored,” and it happens to be one of her more popular songs on the entire album. Besides the catchy tune and upbeat tempo, the lyrics are what makes the anthem so endearing. The song conveys the idea of being in love with someone else who is already in a relationship. On Feb. 8th, its respective music video was released and has reached over 60 million views. In as little as only a week, the song has become an extremely popular among her listeners.
Overall, Ariana Grande’s album Thank U, Next has delivered an extraordinary piece of both love and loss, and everything in between. Whether you’re in your feels on a Friday night, needing some space from your significant other, or saying good riddance to an ex, Ariana Grande never ceases to give us what we truly need.