‘thank u, next’ reminds us that despite all the chaos the world can throw at us, it is how we choose to respond that defines us.
Ensuing a rather turbulent last few years, Ariana Grande has delved her heart and soul into her fifth-studio album, ‘thank u, next’.
Featuring a wholesome 12 tracks with no surprise collaborations or features, this record purely reflects a more personal, stripped-back Grande.
Grande continues to teach us more about the woman she is becoming ‘complex, independent, tenacious and flawed.’
‘imagine’ reminds you of a musical soundtrack. The layered vocals, hard-hitting climatic strings reflect the rollercoaster of longing for love, as Grande sings, “why can’t you imagine a world like that”.
‘needy’ reminds me of an neon flashing merry-go-round at an empty theme park. The simple ‘airey’ chord regression fused with the wholesome background humming harmonies hits deep. Grande lays all her vulnerabilities on the table as her melancholic angelic voice echoes into the abyss, “it feels so good to be needy.”
A rich bass guitar and trumpet introduces ‘bloodline’, a track that instantly radiates those subtle reggae ‘Side To Side’ vibes. Grande’s relatively simple yet dynamic vocals keeps you engrossed whilst allowing for the sassy instrumentals to shine.
This is Grande’s big ‘f*** you’ to the past few years, ‘fake smile’ is all about being real in a world dominated by fake. Grande delves into the more bass tones of her voice which inject a velvety, sultry texture into the contemporary lo-fi instrumental.
‘ghostin’ breathes an eery air of uncertainty and loneliness into the album, almost as if you have lost someone you know will never come back. The surprisingly gracious synth progression and floating strings moulds into a supernatural dream. Grande’s vocals makes everything more ‘human’, sending shivers down your spine as she alludes to the ghosts (aka. memories) of her past relationships.
Despite all the heartbreaks, this has not broken Grande’s confidence, ‘break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored’ is the ultimate ‘bad gal’ song. Trading places with sentimental track, ‘Remember’, Grande chose to embrace this more upbeat, provocative NSYNC sampled-tune on the album.
Ending on a brighter note, ‘7 rings’ and ‘thank u, next’ are bouncing with a whole lot of pop-fuelled confidence. ‘7 rings’ instantly brings back some sweet childhood memories, as Grande plays around with samples of the Sound Of Music’s ‘Favourite Things’.
Go nab yourself a copy of Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ here.