Arts & Culture

Review: ‘Thank u, next’ cured my winter depression

Kailey James, Staff Writer

Ariana Grande’s fifth album, “thank u, next,” dropped Feb. 8, and it climbed to the top of global charts. She has released two albums in the last six months, with this behind her fourth album, “Sweetener.” “Thank u, next” is a completely new shift in mood from the previous. When “Sweetener” came out, Ariana stated she was starting to make music that was really who she was and caring less of what the public thought or wanted. While “Sweetener” was the beginning of that shift, “thank u, next” is the complete turn into a new era of music for Ariana.

While Ariana’s personal life is no secret to the world, and it certainly is reflected in her music, that’s not the only important message in this album. Many of the songs reflect this new wave of feminism and women being encouraged to embrace their sexuality. This is shown in songs like, “bloodline,” which gives a warning to a partner that may want more than a hookup. Looking back at her older songs where it seems that they were pure pop love songs that express need in having a partner or whatever cheesy type of love song you can think of.

Now her songs are on showing she is good on her own and is focused on what is best for herself. This is shown in the song “NASA,” where she sings about not wanting to be with her partner, instead only wanting to be by herself. Overall, it seems Ariana is embracing who she is. In so many times of the album, she shows what she wants, her real feelings and her past.

Speaking of her past, it was hard to come by someone who didn’t know what was going on in Ariana Grande’s love life in the past year. There is also no denying that she has been through more than most people will ever go through. First, in 2017, 22 of her fans were killed in a terrorist attack in Manchester concert. Then, she left a relationship with Mac Miller in the spring of 2018 and quickly entered a relationship with Pete Davidson. Shortly after becoming engaged with Davidson, Mac Miller passed away. A month after his death, her relationship with Davidson ended.

No one can argue how strong she must be to make it through all of that in a little over a year. It is clear that her way of grieving is through making music. Her recent past tribulations are shown in the lyrics of a large amount of the songs on “thank u, next.” The easiest song to decipher is “ghostin.” She described the song on twitter saying, “Feeling badly for the person you’re with because you love somebody else. Feeling badly because he can tell he can’t compare.”

This album is a shift toward what’s to come in the future of her music career. There is no question of the success of the album already, and with her recent Grammy win for “Sweetener,” it seems this year may be better than the last.

This article was originally published in the Feb. 15, 2019 issue.