By Sophie Andreou
You've been living under a rock if you haven't heard about Ariana Grandes new album 'thank u, next'. It has been a crazy success and if you don’t believe me, take a listen to these stats.
The album was released the 9th of February and within the first week 307 million on-demand audio streams of the album. 'Thank U, Next' the single, achieved 11 total weeks in the top spot of the Hot 100. Not only that but all 12 of the songs on the new album were in the top 40 as they were released. And to top it all off she is the second artist in history to occupy the top 3 spots, with '7 rings', 'Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored' and 'Thank U, Next’ after the Beatles back in 1964! Talk about girl power!
It is no doubt that Ariana has been on a bit of a wild, scary and crazy ride the past 18 months; filled with grief and even loss; and the album, I think, mirrors this sort of rollercoaster to recovery for Ari. It follows the feelings of desperation, strain and confusion but also incorporates some of her well-known sass while ultimately trying to heal. Personally, this album for me, feels like a sign of growth for Ariana and that she has finally found herself, after all the things that have happened to her recently (bombing at her Manchester show, a quick engagement-then called off and losing an ex).
So, the album consists of 12 songs (pictured below)
In the opening track, the crazy whistle tones are the highlight of 'imagine'. Girl can hit those notes (also gives us amateur singers some false hopes and aspirations). Imagine really explores that utopian world and the perfect relationship that would be a result of that world. The next track 'needy' shows the desire for attention and affection (relatable). The simple and sparse track consisting of some synthesized sounds, clicking, strings and backing 'oo's is really effective also. 'NASA' refers to the need for distance from someone to discover yourself first, which is rather contradictory to the previous tracks, but an awesome song. 'bloodline' has some real groovy saxophone loop in the chorus if you're looking for a bit of a dance. The next track 'fake smile' starts with some extra audio repeating "after laughter comes tears" which is really a quite intense phrase.
This song explores how Ariana is portrayed in the media through her personal issues and how the media has played a major role in her struggles. Overall, these first few songs are as if Ariana is wrestling with what she wants whether it be affection, distance or wanting to be lost in the crowd rather than in the spotlight. 'ghostin' is a real effort to cope and heal over the loss of her ex. The angelic mix of synths and strings created a real tear-jerking ballad of heartache and grieving, while trying to recover. Closer to the end of the album the last three, and most popular tracks '7 rings', 'thank u, next' and 'break up with your girlfriend, I'm bored' show Ariana's more well-known side. Personally, for me I think '7 rings' is a major bop but is a bit upsetting to hear. I don’t know, I just really think this song masks all her personal struggles revealed earlier in the album, to now be outshone by the fact she is rich and famous so it's okay because "whoever said money can't solve your problems? Must not have had enough money to solve 'em".
I think it still shows, deep down, the heartache and fact that Ari still can't get over these issues fully and be the same, which is of course, a given. This absolutely shouldn’t take away from the fact that Ariana has yet again produced a killer album to the world. Overall this album explores further into Ariana's real emotion and we delve deeper past the surface of Ariana Grande. The songs in this album are incredible and there's a song for almost any mood you are in. So, if you haven't already, go give it a listen.