Ariana Grande’s latest release “thank u, next” reflects on her emotional tragedies and reaffirms her strength as a wounded woman finding her own voice.
Upon first listen, Grande’s emotional energy is prevalent, as the singer attempts to cope, mourn and heal.
The album’s opening track “imagine,” embarks down Grande’s picture of a perfect relationship, longing for a “now and forever” unattainable love.
Some lyrics, although not confirmed, appear to reference Grande’s late ex-boyfriend, artist Mac Miller, who passed of a drug overdose shortly after the two split in early 2018: “knew you were perfect after the first kiss… I never thought that it would be you.”
In another track, “bloodline,” Grande expresses a free-spirited one-night stand attitude with the pre-chorus lyrics, “Love me, love me baby. Are you down? Can you let me know? Love me, thank you, leave me, put it down then it’s time to go.”
The singer tweeted to fans the song represents wanting somebody but not enough to have them in your bloodline.
“Fake smile” returns to Grande’s internal self struggles as she discusses her dissatisfaction with life and her refusal to hide behind her emotions.
Her honesty bleeds through the bridge.
As the album progresses, Grande’s clever word play come into effect with tracks titled “bad idea” and “make up.”
In “make up,” Grande compares make-up sex to her building anger, while in “bad idea,” the singer references trying to “let it go” and “got to get control of it.”
Arguably the most emotionally impactful track “ghostin”, is the story of being with someone while being in love with someone else.
The song also appears to sample Miller’s track “2009.” Grande sings of being sorry for having her then fiancé Pete Davidson see her cry over Miller.
The ninth track, “in my head” returns to Grande’s self-actualizations, coming from the perspective of a version of herself she created in her head, fell in love with, and is now trying to run from. The singer tweeted the song’s meaning revolves around “falling for someone that they are not.”
The lead single and titular track, “thank u, next” peaked at No. 1 in the U.S, giving Grande her introduction to the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
As she sings, “I know they say I move on too fast, but this ones going to last, cause her name is Ari, and I’m so good with that,” Grande shows that she is just getting started.