thank you, next Review Please!



Cover art from “thank you, next,” Ariana Grande’s most recent album

Was I planning to spend my time this last weekend listening to Ariana Grande’s album? Not really. Was I kind of bullied into it by my Editor-in-Chief? Maybe a little. Do I regret it? Not at all! thank you, next was an album that really caught me off guard if I’m being honest, I haven’t been a fan of Grande’s work in the past and although I’m not sure how I feel about the artist as a person I am a big believer of separating the artist from their work and this album was a wonderful surprise. I think it strikes a nice balance between the classic pop tropes and themes of heartbreak and self love and is supplemented well with the interesting beats, different musical styles, and catchy lyrics. She then goes further to reverse some of the common tropes and spread positive messages instead, making some of her troubles seem almost average, making the album even more relatable.

thank you, next seems to be Grande’s way of putting on a brave face and moving on with her life. This album is a way for the artist to reevaluate herself and come to terms with things. One example of this is from the second track, “needy.” Although it’s true that this song is about her own neediness (the lines “if it take you too long to hit me back” and “I can be way too damn needy” giving that impression the most), it also is about Grande coming to realization that maybe she needs someone to give her that level of attention. The line “tell me how good it feels to be needed” shows that she want to have that amount of attention that everyone feels like they need her. This again plays into the relatability of the album, I think it’s a common problem, especially with the youth of today, that we always want to be included and wanted, and I think Grande is facing this problem head-on but also telling her fans that it’s ok to feel that way.

“bloodline” is actually one of my favorite tracks on this album but I feel like I haven’t seen much conversation on it. Its catchy chorus, driving beat, and overall just enjoyable sound is what really does it for me. This song is Grande fighting back a little bit, giving off the superstar ego that I normally associate with her. However, for some reason it’s just done so well I can’t resist it. This song is one of the most savage on this album, between the clear “I’m better than you” mentality but also the chorus of “I don’t want you in my bloodline” is especially ruthless, saying that people aren’t even good enough to pollute her family tree. However, like I mentioned before, Grande also flips this egotistical idea on its head. This song is as much about being confident as it is about letting things go and moving on.

“bad idea” is a song that I think is good, but personally I think people over hype it. I think the chorus is kind of stale and the message is somewhat bland. However, the production, backing track, and the fantastic guitar in the beginning really save this song. These things make this song just completely enjoyable to listen to. The switch about 3 minutes into the song is also really interesting to me. It feels a bit more somber than the rest of the peppy, constantly driving vibe the other half has. “thank you, next” is I think almost underhyped. It think it has a really beautiful message about what it means to get out of a relationship but to use it as a learning experience and a change to grow. The beat is a bit slower and muffled, to reflect the mood of the song no doubt, but the lyrics give off this optimistic idea, even if it is sad for the time being. This message really stands out to me and is something that most people could learn from. My only complaint is that sometimes it is a little repetitive and because of it the song seems a little short, however there is nothing wrong with a short but sweet track. I’m not sure if this is my favorite track but it definitely up there and is worth a listen.

The concluding song, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” is not anything super special but it’s catchy and does what it needs to. This song is the final stage of Grande’s transformation, it is her shirking the weight of the stress and grief of the past year and moving on, re-owing the “close to god” persona. She even goes so far to say “damn, she can’t compare,” really proving that she thinks highly of herself again. I think the fact that this follows “thank you, next” speaks volumes as well. It acts as the result to what happens if you follow her advice in the previous track. It again shows that she’s done with the drama and is ready to move on. I think this song is a solid end to the album and is one of the best on it as well. It is one of the grittiest songs on the album which is a nice change of pace.

Overall I find this album very enjoyable and worth listening to. Although there are some weaker tracks, such as “7 rings” and “in my head,” they don’t do enough to take away that much from the album. The album definitely is not perfect but is pretty good because of its inventive styles and it’s habit of reversing some of the common tropes of the genre. Because of that I’d give this album a 7 or 8 out of 10 and would say it is definitely worth listening if you like the genre.