Thank You Next Album Review by Elijah Hanebury

Pop music getting radio play recently has been following the same boring trends day in and day out. Everything seems glamorous, shining in a thick coat of glitter and hot pink. A lot of it seems artificial or plastic, and I’m sure that with a trained ear, it’s not too hard to pick out.
With thank u, next, all of that is out the window. After ending her engagement with former fiance Pete Davidson, and recovering from the overdose of her ex Mac Miller, Ariana Grande has been going through a lot. Naturally, her art is a reflection of such, and she aims to break the mold of the always fantastic and statically produced pop mess of the world with her own raw emotions. There is no facade to view in thank u, next. Everything is how Ariana truly feels or is going through. The reality of the album is a breath of fresh air, giving literally everyone something to actually relate to. Whether it be struggle or progress, Ariana addresses it with her heart on her sleeve, making sure she has nothing to hide from the world.
A hit single from the album and the title track “thank u, next” made huge waves upon the release of the music video back in November. Full of pop culture references, the video’s reception was phenomenal, and waves of fans praised Ariana for her creativity and artful perfection. The song’s contents deal with the moving on from exes, and the strength that can be achieved through positive self-growth and understanding. To become the best version of oneself is the goal for Ariana, praising forward progress. Another single, “imagine” is a complete shift in direction. Reflecting on her ex Mac Miller’s drug addiction, as well as the turmoil between their relationship, “imagine” shapes up to be a beautiful sweeping ballad where Ariana aims to get through to her loved one. She details this perfect scenario with him, now only being left up to the imagination, forcing Ariana to treasure her false reality. The overall theme of self-reflection continues throughout a majority of the project, being echoed throughout songs like “NASA” and “needy,” a track that Ariana uses to deal with her own issues creating and maintaining a healthy emotional relationship with another person.
Being true with one’s problems is no easy task. Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande called off their engagement, and the track “ghostin” is the perfect highlight into the parting between the two. Ariana opens up this ballad sounding rather eerie, and she sings about her attachment to Mac Miller and his passing during her relationship with Davidson. Every chord and layered harmony within “ghostin” strikes the heart and makes the listener really see the depth between Ariana and Pete’s split and after listening, it’s almost impossible to not have seen the split coming.
Both “7 Rings” and “break with your girlfriend, I’m bored” shine a confident light on Ariana and her actions and ambitions. Having wealth and getting what you want is on everybody’s mind, and she wants you to know that she is no exception. Even though her own adversities, she comes out on top of her sadness, ready to get what she wants because she knows what she wants. As an album, thank u, next is an ode to everyone who has experienced hardships, and is a testament to turning anguish into progress.