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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Ariana Grande gets personal

Ariana Grande gets personal

“thank u, next” album delivers experience

Vulnerable, empowering, exhilarating, bold, relatable. Ariana Grande’s new album, “thank u, next,” is all of the above.

Each song shows a different side of Grande, building on her story.

Grande is a woman who has gone through an array of public heartbreaks, losses and tragedies. From the Manchester Arena bombings in 2017 to the sudden death of Mac Miller and the end of her engagement to Pete Davidson in 2018, the singer has had a difficult few years.

Grande used the studio as her therapy session, but still managed to create a fun pop album filled with R&B and hip-hop stylistic influences.

The album opens with “imagine,” where the song’s R&B-inspired beats thrive. “Tell me your secrets,” Grande says in this sultry, provocative track.

She discusses the idea of not thinking she is good enough, a feeling that it is all too familiar to plenty of women, on the second track, “needy.” Grande sings, “I admit that I’m a little messed up, but I can hide it when I’m all dressed up.” We can all relate to the idea that when we look good, we feel good.

In the song “NASA,” Grande talks about self-discovery and the importance of bettering herself. The tune begins with a voice-over saying, “This is one small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind.” This song is about the necessity of space to grow in a relationship.

“NASA” and “needy” seem to parallel one another in the theme of relationship troubles. In “needy,” Grande doesn’t want space apart from her significant other; she wants to be wanted. However, both focus on the same idea of being a little messed up.

“I can’t fake another smile, I can’t fake like I’m alright,” Grande sings, “And I won’t say I’m feelin’ fine. After what I’ve been through, I can’t lie.” Finally, Grande is opening up about the difficulty of living in the public eye amidst tragedy and heartbreak. Despite its hip-hop vibe that makes listeners want to get up and dance, “fake smile” has a relatable message about having to smile through the pain.

Grande delved into the idea of hook-up culture in “bloodline” and “bad idea.” These tracks are inspired by 1980’s pop and are bound to get listeners out of their seats, while singing about a topic that can be taboo but relatable to so many college students today.

“break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored,” focuses on a similar, but slightly more controversial topic. The title says it all. In the song, Grande sings, “I know it ain’t right, but I don’t care.” This song has a similar danceable tune, and its subject matter has caught the attention of many as it has been trending on social media, which is no surprise as it deals with cheating and breaking the trust of your significant other.

The single we all know and love, “thank u, next,” created a lot of buzz. In this song, Grande forgives her exes while identifying them by name. Grande says she’s met someone else, and that this one’s going to last, “Cause her name is Ari, and I’m so good with that.” The message of self-love in this song is one that women need to hear.

Female empowerment is a prominent theme in “7 Rings,” which was also released as a single prior to the album drop. She compliments herself (her smile, her skin) and sings about spoiling her girlfriends. There are so many fun, instagram-caption worthy quotes in this song, and it’s another one that people can’t help but sing along to.

“ghostin” has been deemed Grande’s “strongest and most vulnerable song yet,” by The New York Times. She talks about the difficulty of dealing with grief while being in a relationship with a new guy. “Though I wish he were here instead/Don’t want that livin’ in your head,” Grande sings. It’s another serious tune that reflects what she’s gone through in the past year.

Grande’s song “in my head” may be one of the most relatable tracks on “thank u, next.” “Painted a picture, I thought I drew you well.” Grande sings, “I had a vision, seeing what isn’t there.” How many women can relate to the idea of wanting someone to be the person they dreamed up in their head? In a room full of women, there’s a significant chance that most hands would be raised when asked this question.

“make up” is yet another bold, sexy track on Grande’s album that highlights the benefits of arguing with your significant other – the make up sex. Grande sings, “Love it when we make up/Go ‘head ruin my makeup.” The exhilarating beat makes this song another great option to dance to or even add to your workout playlist. Scratch that – go ahead and add the entire album to your workout playlist.

With 12 unskippable tracks, Grande tells a story that is very personal, yet relatable to all women, exploring feminist ideals and sexuality. This album is a must-listen and one that is bound to be loved.

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