Thank You, Next

Manhattan, New York
United States

Widely-adored pop princess Ariana Grande has done it again. On February 7th, she released her fifth studio album “thank u, next.” This is her second album in six months, after “Sweetener,” which was a huge success. Ariana has been through a lot in the last year, between her quick engagement to SNL star Pete Davidson and the sudden death of ex-lover Mac Miller. These events can clearly be seen in her prolific work. Each song flows very well from one to the next, in classic pop album format. If you haven’t yet heard the album, here’s a breakdown of each song.

imagine:  This song is a depiction of a typical fantasy with a significant other. What I like about this song is that the lyrics list the simple things we all want in life: pad thai, sleeping until noon, and the company and love of another person. “Imagine” makes Ariana relatable, painting a picture of a simple, perfect world. She shows off her signature, borderline-impossible high notes to end the song, starting off the album in a sweet and dreamy way.

needy:  Speaking of relatability, Ariana describes a situation the majority of us have been in at one point or another in the next song. People tend to be insecure about clinginess or neediness in any sort of relationship, but “needy” shows that our feelings are uncontrollable, and not something to be ashamed of. Everyone wants and needs attention and love, and this doesn’t make someone any less of a person. Society admires independence and often looks down on those who need a lot of attention, and Ariana attempts to turn neediness into something less negative through her lyrics, telling us to embrace it. “You can go ahead and call me selfish, but after all this damage I can’t help it, but what you can trust is I need your touch.”

NASA: “This is one small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind.” This upbeat song sounds very similar to Ariana’s older music on albums like “Yours Truly” and “My Everything.” It seems to be referencing a relationship that is in need of some space, pun very much intended. Time for yourself is important, and Ariana definitely gets this across in this song: “You don’t wanna leave me but I’m tryna self-discover…” Nevertheless, this song is adorable, catchy, and fun to sing along to.

bloodline: Friends with benefits. Not exactly the easiest situation to deal with. Ariana sings in “bloodline” about what seems to be this type of relationship, saying that she “just wants to have a good time.” What she doesn’t want is something romantic (in other words, for him to end up in her bloodline), which this man seems to be hinting that he may want. She lays out the options, and tells him to “take it or leave it.” With trumpets, a jazzy feel, and lots of vocal runs, this song is a defiant bop.

fake smile: “After laughter, comes tears.” At one point or another, everyone feels like they need to put a mask on, making the world think they’re doing great. Fake it til you make it, right? Well, no. This doesn’t always work, and Ari makes it clear in this song. With the stress of being in the spotlight, she expresses that she can’t always act like she’s happy, and this obviously also applies to the rest of the world. “I’m happy for the love and all of the above, if I’m being honest I done been through way too much.”

bad idea: If something is hurting or bothering someone, sometimes distractions are the best outlet, no matter what they may be. Ariana sings in “bad idea” about a relationship in which she just wants to “numb the pain.” Whether it’s a distraction from past relationships or even herself, she recognizes that the things she wants to do are in fact bad ideas, but goes with the flow anyway. “Yeah, I know we shouldn’t, baby, but we will, need somebody, gimme something I can feel.”

make up: Who doesn’t love a song that uses makeup and beauty metaphors for love? Ariana sings about a relationship that seems to be built on arguments and make-up sex. The subtle cosmetic references give it a cute and cheeky element, and the title gives them the perfect excuse to pop up throughout the song. “No eyeliner on, but looking at you is the fix, highlight of my life just like that Fenty Beauty kit.”

ghostin: If you need a tearjerker, this is the one. This song tells the story of someone in a new relationship, who can’t let go of an old one. Allegedly written to Pete Davidson about the late Mac Miller, this song shows the struggle of not being able to love a significant other fully because of old baggage. It’s an apology to Pete in a way - which only makes it sadder. One of the only slower songs on the album, it’s beautiful and heartbreaking. “And I’m hating myself ‘cause you don’t want to admit that it hurts you.”

in my head: “Painted a picture, I thought I knew you well.” Another upbeat song, “in my head” describes a version of the perfect person Ariana made up in her head, and then realizing that the person she loves in real life is not like the one she created. It is always upsetting when we set impossible standards that cannot be met. Why can’t everyone just be a Disney character?! Still, this song is one of my favorites on the album!

7 rings: With a little homage to the classic “My Favorite Things” melody, this song is a bad bitch anthem, with the slightly less relatable aspect of Ari shamelessly flaunting how rich she is. Ariana allegedly wrote this song right after her breakup with Pete Davidson. No one says no to a post-breakup shopping spree, so she took six of her best friends out shopping and treated them all (and herself, of course) to matching diamond rings. Although a bit materialistic, there is no denying the sense of power you feel listening to “7 Rings.”

thank u, next: a.k.a. The single that almost broke the Internet. Ariana discusses a few of her past relationships in this song, giving the impression that most of them were just failures that she is more than ready to move on from. She then explains that she is thankful to each one for teaching her a different lesson: love, patience, pain, etc., and that this has turned her into a better person overall. The second verse gives the message that the relationship that matters most in life is the one you have with yourself. This song has quickly become a breakup anthem for many since its release back in November, and it proudly titles this album.

break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored: Although a great song, its message has brought about some controversy. The title says it all. Everyone has their selfish moments in life in which we see or meet someone we like, who we later find out is taken. No one can stand it. People are a little taken aback, however, by this “steal your man” attitude the song has written all over it. It’s a fair message to be upset over, but it doesn’t seem like Ariana is trying to do any harm. “...But I only hate on her cause I want you…”