Review: Ariana Grande – thank u, next

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Victorious

Grande's latest album not only conquered the charts, but it is also her latest release that champions female empowerment and promotes self-love.

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She has done it again. Ariana Grande has released another new album, and it is certainly powerful. This new album comes only six months after the release of her previous album, Sweetener. With every release, Grande gets stronger, and her music gets better, but you are left wondering how that’s possible? Every new song is so good, how can it get better? Well I don’t have an answer for you, but I can tell you that she manages it, and you should listen to this album.

thank u, next, stylised along with the rest of the album in lowercase, is Grande’s fifth studio album, containing 12 tracks. The album, on the whole, documents Grande’s life after the drastic events of the last year, such as rapper and ex-boyfriend Mac Miller’s tragic overdose and her break up with ex-fiancé Pete Davidson. Writing and recording these songs in the midst of tragedy, Grande was able to put her pain into what she does best: music. It has also been reported that the title of the album is named after a phrase her and her close friend, Victoria Monét, often used. This further illustrates the girl power and “friends first” spirit of the album.

Of course, the first single of the album is the one of the same name, released in November of 2018. A self-empowerment tune which details some of Grande’s past relationships, ‘thank u, next’ certainly got people talking. The lyrics express Grande’s gratitude for how the relationships affected her: “one taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain”. She also touchingly mention’s Miller, singing “wish I could say ‘thank you’ to Malcolm, ‘cause he was an angel”. The song later replaces the above lyrics with “she” instead of “one” in order to emphasize the importance of prioritizing yourself, and your growth, first. ‘thank u, next’ created such a buzz, fans were aching to hear the next single. In January, Grande delivered with ‘7 Rings’, based on The Sound of Music’s iconic tune ‘My Favourite Things’. This trap song is an ode to her journey as she focuses on her friendships after her break ups and losses.

With two fierce songs under her belt, the upcoming album began to be hotly anticipated. The singles were so iconic in promoting unity and self love, everyone knew this album was going to be equally spellbinding. On the same day as the album release, the third single from the album was released. This song, entitled ‘break up with your boyfriend, i’m bored’, involves Grande incorporating NSYNC’s hit ‘It Makes Me Ill’ within her own song. It has since been reported that the album originally had a song, ‘Remember’, on it, but that this was too personal for Grande, and she was not ready to release it. ‘Break up with your boyfriend, i’m bored’ replaced it, along with a very interesting music video (definitely worth the watch – unexpected is the word I would use). Other songs on the album detailing Grande’s self-love journey include: ‘needy’, a song about accepting your flaws; ‘bloodline’, which harmonises the power of letting go and ‘NASA’ which is about spending time alone and how it can positively affect your relationships.

The album was warmly welcomed by critics who had been waiting with bated breath. Points praised by critics include the unity of the album as well as the skilled production. Another area commented on is the song writing, with Grande quickly being recognized as a lyrical genius. Finally, many point to the sheer confidence that she displays with these songs. The fact that thank u, next and arguably Sweetener were created as a result of trauma, and accompanied her personal healing, astonishes many. These facts only exemplify her talent further. Of course, this album only further propelled Grande’s female icon status, a title she had arguably held since the release of her Dangerous Woman album. Fans were equally impressed by the album, which quickly peaked atop the charts across many countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Canada. Grande also claimed several chart records, including becoming the first female artist to replace herself at number one on the singles chart, and jointly holding the record for the most Number 1’s in the 2010s, alongside Rihanna.

It is without doubt that this latest album is musical gold dust. As Grande continues on this path of self-discovery and healing after such severe personal calamity, her music gets stronger, and her public image becomes even more popular. The singles and the accompanying tracks are each mesmerizing and beautiful in their own ways. This album is the perfect listen for any mood, and promises to evoke such an array of feelings within you. thank u, next is definitely not to be missed, and delivers a song that will fit right in to every one of your play lists.

‘Thank U, Next’ is now available now via Republic Records. Ariana Grande embarks on her Sweetener World Tour, which also features this album, later this year.

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1st year, lover of books, watcher of cheesy rom-coms and listener of any song I can find in my library

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