Just in case you forgot, Ariana Grande released a new album entitled "thank u, next," on February 8th. Some people say it sounds too similar to "Sweetener", and other people say it is her best album. No matter how you feel about it, it is safe to say that the message behind the songs on this album are incredibly important. It took me a few listens of each song to actually understand what she was saying and why she was saying it, but after I did, some of these songs really resonated with me.
One of her most popular songs from the album, “NASA” talks about how the singer would rather be single than in a relationship. Lyrics like “Think I’m better off here all alone tonight” allow women everywhere to finally embrace being alone but not being lonely. The song explores the idea that there is nothing wrong with “me time,” and the main lyrics repeat, “You know I’m a star. I’ma need space.” Despite the overwhelming pressure women often feel to always be in a relationship, Grande finally puts it plain and simple. Every star needs her space.
The song, “Fake Smile,” is one that I feel is actually really underrated. In this song, Grande is claiming that she just can’t pretend to be happy anymore, which is something that a lot of women in society most likely relate to. Grande sings, “If I’m being honest, I done been through way too much. I can’t fake another smile.” It is so easy to feel like we need to put on a brave face and pretend to be happy every day even when we’re not. Just ask any girl who has been yelled at by a man to “Show me that pretty smile.” In this song, Grande ultimately says fuck that.
“7 rings,” one of the singles from the album can be taken the wrong way if not listened to carefully. To a lot of people, it might seem like Grande is bragging about her riches, and they would be right. This song says that there is nothing wrong with that. Grande knows she has worked hard for her money, and she would rather spoil herself and her friends with it than do anything else. For once, Grande makes it okay for women to live luxuriously, and for them to feel comfortable in the knowledge that wealth is no longer just a man’s prize.
Finally, my favorite song off of this album is a song called “Ghostin”. When I heard this song, I listened to it a few times because it was that powerful to me. In the song, she is apologizing to what seems like a current boyfriend that her ex is still in her head and she still has emotions over him. To me, this song finally expressed an emotion that so many of us feel so guilty for having. Grande sings, “I know that it breaks your heart when I cry again, over him.” The song validates the emotion of missing someone we shouldn’t miss, and even loving someone we maybe shouldn’t love because we have someone else now. The truth is, though, that you can’t cancel emotions. This song says that and that is why it is so important.
This entire album is an anthem for women’s empowerment, and it unapologetically expresses so many feelings women have that we are made to feel bad about having. Feelings like sadness, guilt, and even sexual desire are validated on this album. Thank you Ariana Grande.