Ariana Grande says ‘Thank U, Next’ to “Sweetener”

“thank u, next” album cover art (Photo courtesy of Republic Records)

Alexis Warren

Fans speculated about whether Ariana Grande’s new album, “Thank U, Next,” will live up to “Sweetener”’s excellence, and with such a short time to cook up 12 magnificent songs, Grande has exceeded expectations.

Earlier this month, Grande released her fifth studio album titled “Thank U, Next,” five months after dropping her fourth album, “Sweetener.” “Thank U, Next” is Grande’s first album with no collaborations with other artists.

The intro to the album is one of the three pre-released tracks, titled “Imagine.” “Imagine” is the only song on the album that features Grande’s iconic whistle notes. This song was on repeat the day it was released on streaming platforms, Dec. 14, and still is a current favorite of mine.

Track number two, titled “Needy,” has been my favorite song on the album ever since Grande teased a snippet on her Instagram. The beat sounds like a repeating soft piano key mixed with rhythmic snaps. In this song she sings about being too passionate and loving too hard when in a relationship, and expresses her habit of being needy and hard to please.

“NASA” is track number three and in it, Grande sings about wanting space from a significant other. The song includes lyrics such as, “I’d rather be alone tonight, you can say ‘I love you’ through the phone tonight,” and “baby, you know time apart is beneficial.” This song can be very relatable when a boyfriend/girlfriend is too clingy in a relationship.

The next song “Bloodline” seems to be about wanting to hook up with a possible lover without catching feelings for one another. Grande sings, “Don’t want you in my bloodline, just want to have a good time,” and later says “Not tryna make you all mine.” If only it were that easy nowadays to hook up without getting attached.

Track five “Fake Smile” is a more personal song from Grande. She has experienced a lot of personal trauma including situations involving the tragic suicide bombing attack at her Manchester concert in 2017, the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller in 2018, and calling off her engagement from ex-fiancee Pete Davidson that same year. The lyrics read “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.” This song is also one of my favorites.

“Bad Idea” is such a relatable song when it comes to wanting to get back with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Grande sings “I gotta bad idea, yeah, I’ma call you over here to numb the pain.” This wouldn’t be a great song to listen to after a break up.

The next song “Make Up” is a shout-out to those people who like rekindling after getting into an argument, because who doesn’t? The lyrics read, “I love it when we make up, go ‘head ruin my makeup.”

Track eight, titled “Ghostin,” is the longest and most personal song on the album. This song, from what I understand, is about the pain Grande felt after the death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller while still being in a relationship with then-fiance, Pete Davidson. As I picked the lyrics apart, it seems to be about Davidson witnessing the hurt she endured after Miller passed away. Grande sings, “You been so understanding, you been so good and I’m putting through more than one ever should.” She then sings, “I know that it breaks your heart when I cry again over him.”

“In My Head” is another relatable song about seeing the best in someone even after they treat you wrong numerous times. The lyrics read “Painted a picture, I thought I knew you well,” and “my imagination is too creative. They see demons, I see angels.”

The next two tracks are the other pre-released songs, like “Imagine,” “7 Rings,” and “Thank U, Next” are two of Grande’s most popular songs this era and both had videos to go along with them. As of Feb. 19, “Thank U, Next” has over 300 million views on Youtube and “7 Rings” over 180 million.

“Break Up With Your girlfriend, I’m Bored” is sort of a fun punchline that has been stuck in my head for the past five days. This song is basically about what the title says, wanting a boy to break up with his girlfriend because — why not? This was the last song Grande wrote for the album, along with it being track 12 of 12. “I think it’s funny. I liked the idea of ending a more honest n vulnerable project and with like a punchline,” the Grammy award winning artist tweeted.

This album is arguably Ariana Grande’s best album to date and definitely my personal favorite. “Sweetener” won her her first Grammy and I strongly believe “Thank U, Next” will bring her even more success.

“thank u, next” single cover art (Photo courtesy of Republic Records)