REVIEW: Ariana Grande’s new album ‘thank u, next’ is unlike anything seen from her before


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Grande exposes her true self in ‘thank u, next.’

Fans have been patiently waiting for Ariana Grande to come out with an album after her hit singles “thank u, next” and “7 rings.” On Friday, Feb. 8, “thank u, next,” was released. Grande’s new album leaves fans with messages of self-love wrapped up in pop beats.   

Just like the cover photo from her last album, “Sweetener,” Grande is upside down. However, the sound of “thank u, next” is nowhere near the same. The 12 tracks revolve around how Grande is content with herself and has finally found who she is.

In the song “fake smile,” Grande sings, “I can’t fake another smile / I can’t fake like I’m alright / I won’t say I’m feeling fine / After all I’ve been through why can I lie.” Grande is committing to showing the world her whole self, even when she is down. Fans can envision themselves not thinking about other people’s opinions. The beats accompanied with these empowering lyrics can pump up listeners’ confidence.    

All throughout the album, there are many phrases that hint at Grande’s post-break up stage. She recently broke off her engagement with comedian Pete Davidson, leading to the hit title song “thank u, next.”

In the song “in my head,” Grande continues to express her feelings about her breakup. She sings, “I had a vision seeing what isn’t there / Caught in the moment, tangled up in your sheets / When you broke my heart, said you only wanted half of me.” The song’s nostalgia is powerful. She is reminiscing on how broken she used to feel. However,  Grande has decided to move on from the past and look towards the future, a message she conveys through a slower, sultry melody.

Grande ends the album with the songs “7 rings,” “thank u, next” and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.” She uses these songs to celebrate her successes, appreciate her exes and move on from her past relationships.

The accompanying music video to the ending song, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” which was released Thursday, Feb. 7, left fans shocked. It begins with Grande at a house party flirting with a man, played by Riverdale actor, Charles Melton. He is with his girlfriend, who looks just like Grande. Her lyrics, seemingly directed at Melton, beg for the couple to break up.

Near the end of the video, Grande approaches Melton’s girlfriend. The song cuts off with Grande and the girl about to kiss. Many think the meaning of the video is self-love because of the physical similarities of the girlfriend and Grande in the video. She is singing about breaking up with her boyfriend and focusing on herself.    

Grande is teaching self-acceptance to her audience in “thank u, next.” The album is very different and allows her fans to get to see a new side of her. She has chosen to love herself for who she is, and she inspires her fans to incorporate self-love into their lives.