by Grace Whitman ’22 A&E Staff
The American singer-songwriter Ariana Grande released her 12-track album, thank u, next, on Friday, February 8. The deep and emotional album followed a tough year for the pop singer who experienced the death of her ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, and a break-up with ex-fiancé Pete Davidson. Grande struggled to cope while going to therapy as a result of the trauma endured from a 2017 terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester, England which killed 22 people and injured hundreds.
The 25-year-old demonstrated unique maturity as she powered on with perseverance, grace, and strength, releasing back-to-back #1 hit singles, “thank u, next“ and “7 Rings.“
Following Sweetener by six months, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, thank u, next had the potential to feel rushed. Instead, the brilliant album shows wit and honesty. Themes of self-discovery and self-care run throughout the album, but there are also many moments of playfulness and humor.
Grande’s eighth song on the album, “ghostin,“ is presumably about Grande apologizing to Davidson while simultaneously mourning the loss of Mac Miller. She sings, “I know that it breaks your heart/When I cry again over him.” “Ghostin,“ shows a more emotional and vulnerable side of Grande among the other bolder tracks.
Later in the song, Grande sings, “Though I wish he were here instead.” Grande says thank you to Miller for being there for her, although, for his sake, she should have let him go.
The last song on the album, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,“ presents the upbeat side of the singer. Grande told Twitter, “I added a fun one (lol) to replace one that I decided I don’t think wanna share w the world.”
Additionally, she released a music video for the track on the night of the album’s release. On the surface, the lyrics suggest it is about wanting someone who is taken, but many fans believe there may be a hidden message in the video.
At the end, Grande kisses the girl in the music video that looks just like her instead of the boy. Some fans saw this as an example of self-love and getting out of a relationship she was not to be happy in. The song plays with Grande’s themes of self-discovery and appreciation even in the most upbeat part of the album.
The pop star has touched millions with her newest album full of diverse tracks, which exhibit strength and humility with unique instrumentals, melodies, and lyrics.