Break Up With Your Old Albums, “thank u, next” is Here

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Break Up With Your Old Albums, “thank u, next” is Here

Jacey Brown, Writer

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Ariana Grande: pop music phenomenon, incredible vocalist, and current owner of the top three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

With two studio albums released in the span of six months, her first Grammy award, and a record broken that was last held by the Beatles in 1964, the question this February is not what Grande can do, but what she can’t do.

Her fifth studio album, “thank u, next” made its appearance on the eighth of February, just two days before its predecessor, “Sweetener,” won Pop Vocal Album at one of the most respected music award shows. Boasting the hit, rich girl anthem “7 rings,” the getting-over-a-breakup breakthrough title track, and the newest, “yuh”-filled “break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored,” the album quickly shot to success among fans and new listeners.

Also appearing, though given much less recognition, are slow ballads such as “imagine,” “needy,” and “make up.” Though some might consider these less interesting than Grande’s traditional beats and high notes, the drowsily and dreamily elegant slow tunes are the ones that show her at her best.

Of course, you have to leave room for what Grande is best known for: radio songs that make every woman (and every gender identity in between) feel as strong and stunning as the artist herself comes across as. “NASA,” which already brags its beauty by starting with a voice clip of drag queen Shangela, has quickly become a fan favorite. This one’s more than just a girl-power dance song; it’s an independent woman’s anthem that deserves the charts’ appreciation.

However, the most unique thing about this album is not just its catchy hits and hard-hitting heart cries – Grande has shown that even in tumultuous months, even just months after releasing yet another successful album, she can still break through ceilings and improve on the daily.

“I won’t say I’m feeling fine/After what I’ve been through, I can’t lie” proclaims track five, and it couldn’t be closer to the truth; Grande has endured a terrorist attack at her Manchester concert, the tragic death of someone who held a piece of her heart, and a called-off engagement, all in the past few years. The most impressive songs on “thank u, next” have to be the ones that show her lyricism and heart for music progressing throughout these battles.

The most honorable mention has to be “ghostin,” a serene, yet powerful art piece that shows off the 25-year-old’s vocal range in the most humble way. Personal lyrics such as “I know that it breaks your heart when I cry again/over him” demonstrate that Grande has developed as a songwriter and as a human being.

“The most important part is that the music is more personal than it ever has been for her,” echoed Abi Meadows, a longtime supporter of Grande.

Ariana Grande will make a stop here in Utah at Vivint Smart Home Arena this July 13th, and maybe you’ll find yourself a part of the growing crowd for who could be the music world’s newest pop princess.

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