Ariana Grande has outdone herself by releasing another album six months after releasing “Sweetener.”
Her newest album “thank u, next” is a complete 180 from her previous album; new sound, new style, new Ariana. Each track is a little different from the last and completely different from anything on “Sweetener.”
The opening track “imagine” is very soft and sweet, but it doesn’t really fit the rest of the sounds on the album necessarily. Although it does have amazing vocals, the lyrics aren’t all-that, and her abrupt beats after each line is abnormal timing.
Next in line is “needy.” The beat sounds old school and is very nostalgic in a way. Her vocals are soft and melodic. The lyrics are a little much if you listen to them and take them at face value, but they’re played off with the chill melody.
“NASA” is a fun little bop. It’s sort of breathy and catchy. The beat is very relaxed, except the chorus, where it speeds up just slightly. The lyrics flow smoothly to create something that gets stuck in your head.
“bloodline” flips the previous slow and steady beats to a saxophonic-edm type sound. The lyrics also are more explicit. This song doesn’t really sound like Grande, as the vocals are very reserved. It is still an entertaining song to dance to, but not one to just sit and listen to.
“fake smile” starts off a little like the “bloodline” beat, faster-paced and pop-ish. Her vocals are calm, but when the chorus hits, the vocals are relaxing, and it gives the listener a sense of happiness and relief. The lyrics are very relatable.
“bad idea” sounds like something out of a drama film. The beat is catchy and uneasy in a good way. Her vocals aren’t overpowering, but they still shine bright on this track with a few high notes in the chorus. It gives off a provocative vibe.
“make up” is a little off. The lullaby-ish beat doesn’t fit her vocal ranges well. The lyrics are also way too explicit for such a young-sounding track. It’s like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” meets “Only Girl in the World” by Rihanna.
“ghostin” is such a sweet, gentle song. It’s soothing to the ears with a muted beat and raw, slow vocals. Rumor says it’s about Mac Miller, making the track even more special.
“in my head” isn’t anything special, but it is amusing to listen to. It sounds more R&B mixed with rap and pop than anything stand-alone.
“7 rings” is one we all are familiar with at this point. As a single, it was weird to hear Ariana delve into a new music genre. As a track on the album, it makes sense. It fits, has a familiar beat we all know and has lyrics we all like to flaunt. It’s undeniably catchy and fresh.
“thank u, next” is so relatable that it’d hard not to sing along to. It was the first track off the album to be heard, and it revolutionized Ariana’s new album topic: learning to love oneself. People consider this song an anthem. It’s got a synchronized beat and amazing lyrics. “break up with you girlfriend, i’m bored” is so different from regular Ariana. It’s explicit, R&B-ish mixed with hip hop, and just a topic that Ariana wouldn’t ever dare sing about. Her voice sounds mature and isn’t overdone. It also has the famous “yuh” lines that are painfully obvious to the ear.
Overall, the album is fresh. It’s new, different from anything she’s done and is relevant to female empowerment.
Compared to her last album, this one is more hardcore and explicit. It’s definitely got more swear words, controversial topics and brutal beats.
The risk paid off, though, as it is one of Ariana Grande’s best works. Ariana created this in one of the most personal times of her life, and it worked out very well.
The album has no definitive flops; each track is great in its own way. It’s deep, relatable and real. A few songs even include sample voices or clips of other songs, making them distinct.
“thank u, next” most likely stole 2019 before it even started by becoming iconic for women, independent people and those who want to express raw emotion.
Reporting from Abby Welsh, Vanguard Reporter
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