Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next”: a Beautifully Empowering Album

Ariana Grande.
Ariana Grande. Photo by Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock (10015403r)

Well, it’s finally here. Since the iconic music video for “Thank U, Next” broke records and made us fall more in love than we thought we could be with the pop sensation, we’ve been counting down the days to Ariana Grande’s new album. And now it’s here and it’s even better than we had hoped.

The record opens with “imagine” followed by “needy”. In the second track, she admits that she can be needy at times, singing “Lately, I’ve been on a roller coaster / Tryna get a hold of my emotions.” She also confesses “I admit that I’m a lil’ messed up / But I can hide it when I’m all dressed up.”

What’s great about Grande’s lyrical confessions is that after the year she’s had, we’d be surprised and disappointed if her album was all smiles and sunshine. After the Manchester attack in 2017, the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the whole world watching her breakup with Pete Davidson, her record was an opportunity to address some of her personal trauma.

Instead of wallowing and self-pitying, she has responded with an album that faces her pain head on and Ariana comes out on top. She rises above her drama and in the spirit of “Thank U, Next”, she inspires her young fans in the best way possible to embrace the past… and move on.

There are a few tracks on the album which perhaps don’t hold our attention as well as they could but each has its own message. The quick tempo’d “bad idea” admits to making mistakes when it comes to moving on from previous lovers but is by no means a banger like “7 Rings” or “Thank U, Next.” In “ghostin” Grande tenderly apologizes to her current lover for her tears and sings: “We’ll get through this / we’ll get past this / I’m a girl with / A whole lot of baggage.” To see a young woman of Ariana Grande’s status being so honest with her fans through her music is inspiring.

The last three tracks of the album are the definite highlights. It’s difficult to tap our credit cards now without singing “I want it, I got it” in our heads (7 Rings) and the track finale “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” has a level of sass we didn’t know the angel-faced Ariana Grande had.

Overall, “Thank U Next” is a brutally honest, beautifully empowering record filled with lit bangers and great advice for young women.