After a surprise drop of the single “thank u, next,” accompanied with an iconic music video, a dreamlike “imagine” shortly after that and a new girl power anthem “7 rings,” we finally get to hear Ariana Grande’s much anticipated album, thank u, next.
The 12 track album comes just six months after her fourth studio album sweetener. Between those six months the singer has been at the peak of her career but as for her personal life she has “no idea what the “f**k” she’s doing,” as she explained in her Billboard Woman of the Year acceptance speech.
With that being said, thank u, next is her most relatable and real album. The pop princess who came on the scene six years ago with her debut album, Yours Truly, is all grown up with a new sound and a lot more to say.
Ready for a song-by-song breakdown? Quick, quick, quick, let’s go.
“Imagine” was released as a second single from the album. It is a song of “what ifs” that fans and critics can only assume is about ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. The track is complete with steady beats, a catchy chorus and Grande showcasing her iconic vocals throughout the song.
Next up, and I think most girls can agree with me on this, is her most relatable song “needy.” Fans begged for this track as a single, but Grande wouldn’t budge. A song that could have been a bubblegum pop song, is a mature and simple track. She lets the relatable lyrics and her soft vocals do their thing. “I’m obsessive and I love too hard / Good at overthinkin’ with my heart.” If you can’t say you relate, you’re lying.
“NASA” is the next track that fans assumed was about ex-fiance Pete Davidson. Although those rumors were quickly shot down on Twitter, the lyrics give mixed emotions and say otherwise. This track is about not wanting to leave someone, but having to anyways because it’s what’s best for you. Give it a listen and I’ll let you speculate for yourself.
Grande is known for jumping from relationship to relationship, but in the next song “bloodline” she is putting those assumptions to rest. “Don’t want you in my bloodline, yeah/Just wanna have a good time, yeah.” After everything she’s been through, it’s safe to say this is the kind of energy she needs.
The next track and another relatable one is “fake smile.” The singer opens up about what all the fame, attention and endless rumors has done to her in a light way and she’s letting the world know she is done. Although she is thankful for everything she has, she has made it clear, mess with her and she’ll come back full force. I know most of us can’t relate for being one of the most famous people in the world, but we all know a thing or two about faking smiles. Give this one a listen.
Girls and guys are guilty of this, using another person to forget about someone or something else. In next track “bad idea” Grande is holding herself and us accountable for doing just that. “Why can’t I let go of it?/Gotta find somebody quickly, mmm yeah.” After the savage lyrics end, the last minute and 20 seconds of the song is an interlude of song’s beats and it gives you a chance to vibe out to the song as the lyrics are on repeat in your head.
The next song “make up” is about a relationship that is all arguing and making up. “I like to f**k with you just to make up with you/’Cause the way you be screamin’ my name/Make me wanna make love to you” the singer is laying it all out there for us to relate that fighting with that special someone sucks, but when you make up you remember that it’s all worth it. “No eyeliner on, but looking at you is the fix/Highlight of my life just like that Fenty Beauty kit.”
This next track is the song we didn’t know we needed and one that rips your heart right out. Grande gets open and honest about her pain. We can only assume “ghostin” is about her contradicting emotions that have to do with Mac Miller and Pete Davidson. The soft and slow instrumentals let you hear the hurt and pain in her voice. This is my favorite from the album because it is her most real song she has ever put out. “Though I wish he was here instead/Don’t want that living in your head/He just comes to visit me/When I’m dreaming every now and then.”
On a somewhat happier note, the next song “in my head” is yet another relatable song for anyone, especially those hopeless romantics. As Grande put it herself in a tweet, it’s about “being in love w a version of somebody you’ve created in your head. falling for someone that they are not.”
The next two “7 rings” and the song “thank u, next” are both bad b***h energy accompanied by iconic music videos and that’s all i’m going to say.
Finally, the last track “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” is the most playful, funny, laid-back, song on the album. After the album dropped, a fan tweeted the singer asking why she decided to put this song on the album. To that Grande replied, “i think it’s funny. i liked the idea of ending a more honest n vulnerable project with a punchline.” And that’s just what this track is, Grande in her purest form. Her carefree, humorous self. The music video dropped the night of the album, watch if you need a good laugh or are just jealous of that girl who has your man.
So there you have it, thank u, next in review. An album full of Grande being open, honest and 100 percent herself that fans and haters alike can vibe to.