The time has finally come for what all Ariana Grande fans have been eagerly anticipating - Grande's fifth studio album "thank u, next" released February 8. After the year that she has had in her personal life, her fans thought they had seen the last of her for a while. The slow-moving synth combined with Grande's whispering vocals turn this song into a desperate diary entry, packed with double-meanings and allusions. Her ex-boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, passed away from a drug overdose and, not long after, her engagement with Davidson ended. Similarly, she knew how to construct a relatable song that would tailor itself to the masses: 99 problems but bae ain't one? Overall, the album functions beautifully as a unit played start-to-finish rather than a collection of singles played on shuffle.
"Do I still get paid for this?" he asks. These are songs about moving on, about finding ways to love yourself in your current form.
What makes these songs and this album so great is the fact that there is nothing to hide behind. The video for the song, which Grande dropped at the same time as the album, mysteriously suggests another interpretation of the song that more closely aligns with the self-love hinted within "thank u, next". Additionally, the singer is also selling heart-shaped pillows, shot glasses decorated with the name of her latest album, pink cropped crew-necks, oversized sweatshirts, snap-backs, digital albums, socks and more. It is remarkable that Grande was compelled to compose and record this album within five months of the release of "Sweetener", much in the same vein that West funneled his grief into an experimental album.
The final version of the song ended up saying: "Thought I'd end up with Sean/But he wasn't a match/Wrote some songs about Ricky/Now I listen and laugh/Even nearly got married/And for Pete, I'm so thankful/Wish I could say, "Thank you" to Malcolm/'Cause he was an angel". No matter what, Grande spoke for all of us when she sang "Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm "cause he was an angel". It was just a handsome moment for her", she added.
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This season and last season, I was on the bench a lot of the time, and always I tried to score. "Son was fantastic again". Jadon Sancho: "I've been very impressed by him - he's a player with incredible qualities".
Grande said the album cover was "made with tru [sic], deep friendship and love". She's having a good laugh.
Thank u, next is an album for all moods.
"Baby you know time apart is beneficial, It's like I'm the universe and you'll be N-A-S-A", the lyrics read.
But no, despite desperate requests, she will not be boycotting her own single. I find that Grande has somehow redefined my enjoyment of pop music through both "thank u, next" and "Sweetener" with her bravado and ability to reclaim herself in the face of pain and loss.