Thoughts on Ari’s New Album “thank u, next”

Whether you’re an Ariana Grande fan or not, her new album has been the talk of every college campus lately. Sweetener was more pure and reflective on the good while thank u, next is about moving forward and growing from pain. She completed the album in just 2 weeks after her loss of Mac Miller and break up with Pete Davidson, and says the album is about “a simple, beautiful love that is now (and forever) unattainable”. Here’s the run-down of our thoughts on each song off the album:



Imagine is for sure one of my personal favorites off this album. Safe to say pretty much every teenage girl swoons over her feelings for Mac: “Feels like forever baby, never thought that it would be you”. After digging deeper into the lyrics, I realized the track is about Ariana’s initial feelings of denial after losing Mac, and now it gives off major in-my-bag feelings. Miller even had a “Imagine” tattoo on his bicep just like the title of the song (brb, I’m in tears).


fake smile

In fake smile, she gets real pretty quick on this track and opens up about how she can’t put on an act of just “being fine” anymore. After numerous breakups, loss and a terrorist attack, there's a lot of baggage that has already changed her in her short lifetime. Yet her strength has inspired her fans dealing with trauma and mental health problems themselves. Ari has stopped caring what the media thinks of her and reflects on how a real woman doesn’t have to plaster on a happy facade because a woman can be whoever she wants to be. You do you Ari!



This clever song title tells us Ari just wants her space (from men and the paparazzi). It starts off with “One small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind”–which is my exact mood every time I actually arrive on time to my 8AM. After years of no time for herself,  Ari doesn’t need a man to complete her (which she continues on bloodline) and just needs her space. Just like the hit Train’s Drops of Jupiter, she’s just a girl trying to rediscover herself and embrace her independence. Go off Ari!



As a lot of us college girls know, the art of “ghosting” someone, or being “ghosted,” is something many of us have figured out and eventually master. However, Ari relates “ghosting” to her mourning and her struggle to get past it. Ari even added similar instrumentals to Mac’s “2009,” and it instantly broke my heart after listening. Both 2009 and ghostin are about moving forward from the past and dealing with losing a loved one. Surprisingly, ghostin almost didn’t make the cut on the final album, but we’re so thankful to see Ari open up in a way she’s never done before.


in my head

Ari’s close friend Doug spills the tea on this track: “Here's the thing: you’re in love with a version of a person that you've created in your head, that you are trying to but cannot fix. The only thing you can fix is yourself”. Whether he’s talking about Mac or Pete, he’s telling Ari to stop romanticizing men and past memories, and instead live in the present with her emotions. Just like any true friend, he advises Ari to practice self-love and focus on herself over anyone else.


thank u, next

One of the most iconic and transparent songs of the year award goes to Ariana for “thank u, next.” Many people perceive “thank u, next” as petty lyrics, but Ari tweeted: “[it’s about] gratitude, acceptance, honesty, forgiveness and growth”. Now, she’s living her life for herself and not for the approval of a guy or critics. She’s worked hard to get to where she is now and we’re down with her confidence on this track!


Although I didn’t do a breakdown for every single track off the album, I have to say: the whole album is straight fire. In an interview with Ari, she said this album “saved her life” and honestly it changed ours too. I, and many others I’m sure, think of her differently now compared to her Victorious days. Even if you’re not a fan of pop music, I highly suggest you give it a listen because it might surprise you and even help heal your own pain.