Ariana Grande has been on a roll these last few months; the singer’s fifth studio album, “Thank U, Next” proves it. Just four months after the release of her fourth album, “Sweetener,” it is clear Grande has been through some tough hurdles in a short period of time.
Just two years ago, a massive terrorist attack took place at her concert in Manchester where 22 people died. After this, Grande managed to push through with her cheerful album ‘Sweetener,’ and even became engaged to comedian Pete Davidson for a hot second. But soon, everything changed. Her ex-boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, passed away from a drug overdose and, not long after, her engagement with Davidson ended.
Needless to say, within the last four months, Grande has dealt with some tough challenges and is possibly still dealing with the fallout. Her newest album translates all of that pain and hurt into the studio. Rolling Stone reported that within just two weeks, Grande managed to create this 12-track playlist expressing every inch of herself.
After the first listen, one could compare “Thank U, Next” to Grande’s previous album and hear no difference. However, if one listens to the lyrics and takes into account what has happened to her recently, it is clears this album is much deeper. The second track, “Needy” shares the one thing that everyone hates to express: vulnerability. With the lyrics, “I'm obsessive and I love too hard / Good at overthinking with my heart,” Grande starts the album off with admitting that she has insecurities like everyone else and needs attention. The first half of this album showcases a woman with feelings who is not afraid to admit she is not the strongest.
The track “Ghostin,” is the perfect song to listen to if you’re caught in a funk. Though this is a song about being with someone and craving someone else, it is a new level for Grande as far as showing vulnerability. The lyrics and the way the melodies flow make the listener feel as if she is singing to that person through their headphones. As the lyrics “We'll get through this, we'll get past this, I'm a girl with / A whole lot of baggage,” blare out, Grande verbalizes an experience many women are able to relate to.
The second half of the album displays a whole other side of Grande that has been needed these last few months. The person on the second half is stronger and will not take anything less than what she deserves. She is choosing to love herself before anyone else.
This vibe can be felt on tracks “Make Up,” “Break up with your girlfriend, im bored,” and the self-titled, shout-out-to-her-exes song, “Thank U, Next.” Within these songs, Grande is showing off how she can be a go-getter, exhibiting the attitude of a self-aware, single woman. Lyrics such as “Make me wanna make love to you / I might break up with you just to make up with you,” show women it is okay to just want flings and to live their best lives untethered.
Overall, despite some of the backlash Grande has received in past weeks — from tattoos to music videos (i.e. “7 rings”) — she delivered her heart in this album.
You can stream this album on Apple Music and Spotify.