Review: Not saying “thank u, next” to this album

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Review: Not saying “thank u, next” to this album

"Thank u, next" album cover. The album is comprised of 12 tracks all centered around Grande's recent breaking off of her engagement.

"Thank u, next" album cover. The album is comprised of 12 tracks all centered around Grande's recent breaking off of her engagement.

"Thank u, next" album cover. The album is comprised of 12 tracks all centered around Grande's recent breaking off of her engagement.

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When Ariana Grande released the album “Sweetener” in August of 2018 about her engagement to Pete Davidson, her fans had no idea that only four months later, Davidson and Grande would break off their engagement, and Grande would release “thank u, next, ” an exploration of lost love.

Grande is a world-famous pop star who began her career on Broadway at 15 years old in the musical “13.”  She then joined the cast of Victorious and Sam and Cat on Nickelodeon to play Cat Valentine.

Grande released her first album, “Yours Truly,” in 2013, and has produced five albums along with multiple singles since then. She is known for her iconic ponytail and is now the most followed woman on Instagram. She is the first artist since the Beatles to hold the top three spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Grande’s newest album, “thank u, next,” (not to be confused with the single by the same title), explores the poignant effects of a breakup, in addition to the process of acceptance and moving forward. The album features 12 tracks, three of which were pre-released as singles. My favorite songs are “break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored,” “fake smile” and “needy.”

“Break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored,” is catchy, fun and a little sassy. It is super fun to blast through your headphones for a pick-me-up and features a good beat and rhythm.

“Fake smile” holds an important message: It is okay to let go of that mask you show to the world and accept your emotions. Grande sings, “And I won’t say I’m feeling fine/After what I been through, I can’t lie.” The song features a slow, crackly vinyl start with a sample by singer Wendy Rene before the beat quickens and Grande begins to sing.

“Needy” is more mellow and relaxed, as it explores an individual’s openness about neediness and experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions. Grande’s incredible vocals shine through as she sings, “I’m obsessive and I love too hard/Good at overthinking with my heart.”

The album is full of hits and I had it on repeat for days because it was so lively and fun to listen to. It definitely hyped me up on my morning bus rides to school and helped prepare me for the day. Rather than focusing on a perfect love story, the album focuses on more real issues and emotions.

Even though Grande’s album is enjoyable, “thank u, next” and “7 rings” are a bit overplayed. It is hard to enjoy these songs as much as I initially did. Several of Grande’s songs are deep; however, certain songs tend to feel more surface-level with lyrics. I actually do not mind this, as most pop is comprised of simplistic, repetitive lyrics.

Grande never fails to produce catchy, lively songs and this album brings forth new ideas about empowerment and independence after a breakup.

You can listen to Grande’s Album on Spotify and view her in concert at Coachella on April 14 or April 21 or at the Staples Center on May 6 and 7. Grande will also be performing at the Forum on May 10.

Correction (July 26, 2019, 10:40 p.m.): The lyrics previously attributed to Grande’s “fake smile” were actually from Phora’s “Fake Smiles.” The lyrics have been replaced with those from “fake smile.” 

  • Originality
  • Lyrics
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact


Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next,” features 12 tracks all surrounding moving forward from heartbreak and exploring emotions.  Grande began her career on Broadway, before pursuing child acting on Nickelodeon. She is now an internationally renowned pop star with five albums.