Ariana Grande never quite left the pop music scene after the monumental release of her fourth album ‘Sweetener‘ last year. It was unconventional pop at its finest with songs like ‘successful,’ ‘get well soon,’ and ‘the light is coming.’ Now she’s cementing her throne as one of the greatest pop stars of this generation with her newest LP aptly titled after her first No. 1 single ‘thank u, next.’
The album is Ariana at her most powerful—she showcases a strength that only stars twice her age could exude after enduring the life’s hardest struggles. She croons about wanting love but craving space at the same time. Standout tracks like ‘needy’ and ‘NASA’ are ironically back to back—one begs to feel needed while the other cleverly requests a little bit of space in a relationship. Ariana refuses to apologize for her open heart in ‘fake smile’— she avoids the idea of a facade, a very prevalent theme in Hollywood’s youngest stars.
Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking tracks from the album is ‘ghostin,’ which fans have concluded might be about the singer’s late ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. She shared recently on Twitter prior to the release that the dreamy record was about being in love with someone else and bringing on a massive amount of guilt.
feeling badly for the person you're with bc you love somebody else. feeling badly bc he can tell he can't compare…. and how i should be ghosting him.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 23, 2019
Loyal fans and listeners have come up theories that it’s about Ariana’s relationship with Pete Davidson—she longed for Miller while she quickly fast-forwarded through an engagement with the SNL comedian.
me realizing ghostin is about her crying over Mac Miller n laying next to Pete while he watches her in pain over his death omg Ariana I’m DEPR pic.twitter.com/OyWQVfgV6H
— Bee S. (@txkattt) February 8, 2019
— sol is not okay (@lovegood28) February 8, 2019
ghostin by ariana grande // cinderella by mac miller pic.twitter.com/PKdnij5v45
— gheeda (@kehlanimila) February 8, 2019
when i realized ghostin is about mac miller and has a similar instrumental to his song 2009 pic.twitter.com/BebL7pt6mE
— ethan (@mistxxke) February 8, 2019
Along with ‘thank u, next,’ Ariana also dropped a music video for the final track ‘break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.’ The visual is a testament to the artist’s discovery to self-love after the grueling relationships she’s been through. It even offers a surprising twist at the end that left fans up in arms.
Overall, Ariana’s fanbase seems to admire her overwhelming inner-strength—her emotional progression is evident throughout the whole LP. She’s publicly dealt with plenty of tragedies and life’s everyday squabbles but it hasn’t broken her.
— comrade seb 🤙🏽 (@dmitri_chenkov) February 8, 2019
Ariana literally verbalized the feeling of wanting to be away from someone for a little, while still wanting to be with them. NASA is THAT song about asking for your time and space without having to make it sound so hard and dramatic.
— 💜 Iris 💜 my birthday’s in 4 days! (@irisvicencio) February 8, 2019
in terms of love / relationships Sweetener feels like the honeymoon stage and #thankunext feels like coming to terms with realizing your “love” isn’t the person you thought they were & the honesty/healing/emotions/events as a result of that. a two part story in my opinion
— THE HOOD ORACLE (@emoblackthot) February 8, 2019
The gradual support for Ariana has steadily been rising ever since the tumultuous past few years she’s gone through. ‘thank u, next’ delves into the life of a twenty-something stumbling through love and life’s problems with pure grace. It shows off a satisfying growth from her previous four albums and quite frankly, is one of her best projects yet.
Ariana isn’t striving to please everyone anymore—she’s unapologetically herself without the weight of the world on her shoulders and she’s shaking it all off gracefully.
Featured image source: Instagram (@arianagrande)