Review: Ariana Grande connects with listeners while healing herself in ‘thank u, next’

In Features, Lifestyle, Music
Illustration of American pop artist, Ariana Grande.
(Alex Bosserman / Daily Titan)

The time has finally come for what all Ariana Grande fans have been eagerly anticipating — Grande’s fifth studio album “thank u, next” released Feb. 8.

The album consists of 12 tracks, with each song highlighting Grande’s views on dating, relationships and self-care.

The success of her album release is no surprise after her single, “thank u, next” dominated the charts. Released on Nov. 3, 2018, this track racked up nearly 8 million streams two days after its release, according to spotifycharts.com.

At the beginning of this song, Grande addresses the gossip surrounding her previous relationships. She also includes a shoutout to former lover Mac Miller by singing, “Wish I could say, ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm/ ‘Cause he was an angel.”

Other lyrics such as “Got so much love/ Got so much patience/ I’ve learned from the pain/ I turned out amazing” express gratitude for experiences from previous relationships.

The two top-streamed songs on the album, “needy” and “NASA,” appear to contradict one another.

Grande’s craving for attention is shown through her song “needy.” The lyrics “If you take too long to hit me back/ I can’t promise you how I’ll react” and “You can go ahead and call me selfish/ But after all this damage, I can’t help it,” touch on the idea that although some may see her behavior as annoying, it’s all out of love and seeking reassurance.

On the other hand, her third track, “NASA,” is the complete opposite of the previous song. Grande starts off by hitting listeners with the lyrics, “I’d rather be alone tonight/ You can say ‘I love you’ through the phone tonight” and “Really don’t wanna be in your arms tonight/ I’ll just use my covers to stay warm tonight.”

This song represents women’s freedom. Although companionship is desired, sometimes space is needed to achieve personal goals.

Yes, the songs may conflict, but this adds to the beauty of the album as she relates her songs to her emotionally diverse audience.

Another top song, “imagine,” shows off Grande’s vocal range, and although it highlights romance and intimacy, listeners can’t help but notice her amazing pitch.

After listening to the progression of her voice throughout the song, it’s easy to get chills and fall in love with Grande all over again.

“thank u, next” can definitely be considered a pop album, but Grande never fails to throw in a fair amount of rhythm and blues.

According to Billboard, if “thank u, next” does as well as expected, it could have the largest streaming week for a pop album, and one of the top 10 biggest streaming weeks ever for an album of any genre.

Grande uses this album to touch on different realms of the dating world, allowing listeners to connect to the album no matter what state they are in. “thank u, next” solidifies Grande’s success in the music industry, achieving record-breaking feats while connecting with fans and healing herself along the way.

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