Less than six months after releasing Sweetener, Ariana Grande is back and better than ever with her fifth album, thank you, next.
Music is not the same as it was a decade ago, the way people listen to their music has drastically changed (basically streaming is now a thing) and Grande is leading the way in how huge pop stars should release music – the hip-hop style of drop it when it’s done.
After releasing three pretty much perfect tracks, “thank you, next,” “imagine” and “7 rings,” the latter of which garnered a lot of criticism, the anticipation for the album was higher than anything I’ve seen since Beyoncé‘s Lemonade.
Let’s just say, this album doesn’t disappoint.
You’d expect the album to be littered with Sweetener reject due to the quick release, but other than “needy,” which could’ve been left off, it’s a fresh album that easily pushes Grande to the top of the pop ladder.
Sonically, the record is her most cohesive to date, flowing effortlessly from track to track with its flawless R&B vibe and trap beats, even if by the end of the 41-minute album, some of the tracks start to blend.
Grande does the brilliant thing of wrapping up her sadness in utterly irresistible beats, like the reggae-inspired “bloodline” and “fake smile,” both of which could (should) be singles. “Another night, another party, sayin’ hi to everybody, lyrics that by themselves don’t exactly stand out, but by the time you’ve reached the end of “fake smile,” you understand the pain that the star is going through, even when critics accuse her of acting like nothing’s happened.
“bad idea” has a definite shift in sound to the rest of the album, while still fitting in. It’s a little darker to the glossy sounds we’re used to hearing from Grande, and we’re definitely not complaining.
The final track on the album, ‘break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” is the song everyone’s been talking about since the album tracklist was released – but does it live up to the talk? No!
Just like the rest of the album, it’s perfectly produced and Grande’s vocals are great, but what’s the point? Lyrically it adds nothing to the album and just ends up seeming like a track thrown on the end to create a bit of discussion. The album should’ve ended with the worldwide number one, and pretty brilliant, “thank you, next.”
However, minus a couple of blips in the form of “make up,” “needy” and the final track, this album is a complete success, and while it’s not perfect, it’s pretty close and totally blows Sweetener out of the water.
Check out the album below and let us know what you think in the comments!