Ariana Grande — ‘Thank U, Next’

After a long year that was 2018, she’s back in 2019 and is dominating the music charts. Ariana Grande’s fifth studio album, Thank U, Next, has skyrocketed on the music charts, making music history for the 25-year-old singer-songwriter. It followed not too far behind the release of Sweetner which came out last summer and has a different type of sound than previous albums like Dangerous Woman and My Everything. It focuses on a variety of things such as past relationships in her life, learning to grow from her experiences, and to be independent. Grande’s “Sweetner World Tour” has now been changed to the “Sweetner/Thank U, Next World Tour,” which launched March 18 in Albany, NY.

So far in 2019, the Grammy Award winner for “Best Pop Vocal” can say her album, Thank U, Next, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, with the biggest stream week for a pop album, and Grande is the first and only artist in Spotify history to occupy the top 3 for fastest song to reach 100 million streams. She also claimed the top three chart-positions on Billboard’s Hot 100, making her the first act to achieve this feat since The Beatles in 1964. What a great start to 2019, am I right?

The album starts off with the track “Imagine” that is a romantic and slow song reflecting on her life with a man by her side, and everything for her is going great. The catch of this song is that this is her fantasy of a life with a man as she sings in the chorus “Imagine a world like that” and that it seems to only exist in her dreams. It took me a couple of listens to catch on to what the song truly was about and when you finally understand, the lyrics mean so much more than a just regular song. Her infamous high notes are sung in this song and they sound like a whistle. Her voice is truly unlike any other and is jaw-dropping when she hits the high notes. This song kicking off the album is a great overview of how this album tells a story of her past relationships, and the things she longs for in future relationships.

Grande keeps her past to herself, but one song that stood out to me so much on this album—and my personal favorite—was “Ghostin.” The song paints a picture of the past year she went through after her ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, unfortunately passed away while being with ex-finace, Pete Davidson. The lyrics in this song are so strong and pure that you can really hear in her voice that she is hurting. The music and the way she sings this song is beautiful and has such a graceful flow to it. This song is probably Grande at her most deep, but it is certainly not dark. Most sad songs focus on the bad of what is going on, but a twist in this song comes when she mentions how eventually, everything will be okay and there is a glimmer of hope from all of this sadness. The combination of her voice and back-up vocals makes this song so powerful that you cannot help but feel for her when listening to it.

The upbeat and definitely popular songs on the album are “7 Rings,” “Thank U, Next” and “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” All of these tracks have one thing in common: confidence. “7 Rings” takes the hook from “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music and adds a bass line to give it a hip-hop flavor. As the bass kicks in the background, this song has more of a rap vibe with Grande singing (or rapping?) about her riches. This is Grande’s first and only attempt at making rap-based song (and some are in love with it and others are hating on it). “Thank U, Next” is everyone’s anthem for thanking their ex-boyfriend, but they are ready to move on to the next. This catchy pop song can be heard in every store you walk into and makes you feel like you are on top of the world. Although people have the idea that this song is supposed to be about bashing your ex-boyfriend, Grande actually means “thank you” to her ex’s, saying they all taught her a lesson in her life, she appreciates them, and is looking forward to the future to see if there’s a next one. “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” is not what is sounds like. Again, she combines her pop sound with a more hip-hop vibe, with a slow bass in the background and singing in a more rap-like structure. Many people misinterpreted this song, but this is all about self-love. I can totally see where people misinterpret this and I promise Ariana is not going to fly to where you are and steal your actual boyfriend, but many theories imply that she is singing this song to herself and it reflects on self-love, as her Ari look-alike in the music video ends up leaving her boyfriend for the real Ariana Grande.

This album is a rollercoaster of emotions, but it is her most successful, putting her at the top of all music charts after it released. From slow to upbeat songs, it covers it all. Grande finally opening up about herself has grabbed the attention of millions, having a lot of people relate to the music she’s released. This album is a whole new side of Grande that fans were waiting to see, pushing herself to the limit with her style of music, her vocals, and how deep she can get in a song.