Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” Revives the “Pop” in “Pop Music”


Sahra Jilaow, Staff

The follow up album to Sweetener, thank u, next by pop diva, Ariana Grande, follows Grande’s new found self love and recovery after the death of previous ex boyfriend Mac Miller and failed engagement to ex fiance Pete Davidson. thank u, next is very cohesive with R&B influences with a touch of trap in tracks like “7 rings”.  As well as a the pop influences like NSYNC, for example in the song “break up with your girlfriend, im bored”. The opening track, “imagine”, is a soapy pop song which most people believe is about ex Mac Miller. The track is Grande’s way of speaking on the idea of failed relationships. The listener feels a sense of reminiscence because of the idea of imagining what something would be like if the world went the way you want it to and in this case, the relationship didn’t fail. The track features Grande’s famous whistle notes. The title track, “thank u, next” focuses on Grande’s public relationships and acknowledging that even though they failed, she is a better person because of them failing. Each ex taught her a life lesson and even if they might’ve ended on a bad term, Grande can still take a positive thing out of the relationships. The song is a confidence booster due to the fact that Grande is thanking her exes, rather than bashing them. Moving on with life and focusing on yourself is the best medicine for breakups because at the end of the day, you should just say “thank u, next”. “thank u, next” is a soft R&B/pop song that is perfect for a drive or a party with friends. The ballad “ghostin” sheds light on Grande’s reflection of the feeling of pity for the current person you’re in a relationship with because you’re in love with someone else who is gone. The feeling of guilt lingers for not being able to have that person be the person you really love, since they will never compare. The person that Grande loves will never go away and she can’t “ghost” him. Looking at Grande’s public personal life, it seems like Grande is singing about how much she realized how much she loved Mac Miller, (he passed away from a drug overdose in 2018) even though she was currently with now ex fiance Pete Davidson. Davidson is there for her during the aftermath of Miller’s passing, but she can’t forget the love Miller and she shared. Throughout this record, Grande shares her vulnerability and self love after going through the devastating breakup as well as death of someone close to her with trying to still cope with the aftermath and mental struggles of the Manchester attack. Grande has continued to make history, with being the first artist since the Beatles to have three singles taking the first, second, and third spot on the Billboard charts (NBC News) and breaking the record for the most simultaneous top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hits by a female artist (CNN). thank u, next is one of the best pop albums of 2019 so far, because what the world needs is an artist who promotes self love and strength after dealing with hard times. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐