Ariana Grande, Thank U, Next
by Alba Lopes Da Silva
After her rollercoaster of a year, Ariana Grande offers us an emotional, sassy album in which she exposes herself and her inner feelings more than ever. ‘Thank U, Next’ is an ode to love, breakup, heartbreak and moving on. After her 4th studio album ‘Sweetener’ that came out less than a year ago, one could have imagined that the pony-tailed singer had reached her peak with the excellent ‘God is a Woman’ and ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ but with her new album she proves that, despite the pain, she is able to outdo herself.
Before the release of the album, we all have been familiarised with the track ‘Thank U, Next’ which has taken the charts by storm. The song is a self-empowering tune, that vocalises breakup and heartbreak in a non-petty way – in fact, Grande seems to show gratitude to her exes (all of whom we know thanks to excessive media coverage) as all of them have brought something in her life. However, it is now time to move on and this is exactly what her album does. The tracks ‘Bloodline’ and ‘NASA’ are all about needing space, and just waiting to have fun; if one looks close enough maybe hints of regret of having been engaged so quickly can be detected. Yet, the songs ‘Needy’ and ‘Bad Idea’ seem to be contradictions, as she thematises her need to love despite the pain. ‘Fake Smile’ is inherently heart-breaking – Ariana Grande is, after all, just a girl like everyone else, and she too feels the pressure of being perfect and looking perfect all the time, detriments that are sadly common for many celebrities. My personal favourite is ‘Gostin’ , the most emotional and authentic track of the album. ‘I’m a girl with a whole lot of baggage,’ sings Grande, while she mourns her former boyfriend Mac Miller yet hating the fact that she makes her new lover suffer.
‘Thank U, Next’ is Ariana Grande’s platform to finally work out who she is, and what she wants. After all the pain and suffering, she is now ready to focus on herself and her happiness, without being blinded by the past. The album is, all in all, her most genuine and emotional work to date.