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Is ‘Thank U, Next’ Ariana Grande’s Best Album?

Stephanie Magana

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On August 17, 2018, Ariana Grande released her fourth studio album called ‘Sweetener.’ About six months later, she was already finished writing and getting ready to release her fifth album, Thank U, Next. A lot of people were doubtful about the fact that this album took such little time to create, many were not expecting a lot from it. This was coming from the fact that many of her fans found her previous album, Sweetener, disappointing, especially for the two-year wait. That being said, when Grande released the first song, titled ‘Thank U, Next’, it blew up immediately. Everyone was talking about it, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing it, it was number one on the charts for seven weeks, and the music video broke the Vevo record for most views of a music video in under 24 hours. Once the album released she occupied the first, second, and third spot on the Billboard Top 100. This made her the first artist to accomplish this since the Beatles in the 60’s, and the first solo artist to accomplish this in history.

This album has been her biggest success to this point in her career, and Grande herself is quite happy about that too. Right before the album came out, she commented that Thank U, Next was some of her most emotional and vulnerable work. Before this album, there were only  a few on her discography that had as much emotion. Some examples would be Honeymoon Avenue, Why Try, and Thinking Bout You on previous albums. There are especially two that seem very personal and even a third that she removed from the album because it was too personal. The song ‘ghostin’ is one that everyone was especially shocked by. It discusses her experiences with two people who were recently very present in her life, Mac Miller and Pete Davidson. Many describe it as an apology to ex-fiance Pete Davidson for having to see her in that state of mourning over a passed loved one. As sad as it is, after Mac Miller’s death, Grande’s situation became very public, so everyone could imagine what she was going through. Especially now with the assistance of that song.

Grande also made songs that explored other topics that don’t usually have a lot of light shed on them as well. For example, a song titled ‘NASA’ about how it’s not a bad thing to need space in a relationship and that it’s completely healthy. Another example would be a song titled ‘in my head.’ This song describes an issue that many have recently come about struggling with. Grande herself described it as, “Being in love with a version of somebody you’ve created in your head. Falling for someone that they are not.” The song talks about how she creates a different version of the person she’s with in her head and tries too hard to fix them, instead of seeing them for who they really are and acknowledging their flaws.

Grande also showcases her technical improvement. You can see this with most songs, but mainly ‘imagine’ where she does a set of flawless whistle notes. The way the album was received was pretty 50/50. Many said that it was her best album, others thought it was just average, and some flat out thought it was bad. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and it’s really interesting to see others’ point of views. To me, it seems that most people who weren’t a fan of the album didn’t like it because of some of the controversy surrounding the artist. Like the message of her song ‘break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored’ or the fact that many accused her of stealing her hit song ‘7 rings’ from a number of artists. No matter who it was, though, no one could deny her outstanding technical skill in her voice.

In my opinion, Thank U, Next is up there as one of Grande’s best albums. I think the album has a lot of good messages, some of her best vocals, and it was her most successful in general. Overall though, the question of “Is Thank U, Next Ariana Grande’s Best Album?” is really up for the listener to decide for themselves. I think it’s a good idea to listen to the album and see what you think about it for yourself!

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Is ‘Thank U, Next’ Ariana Grande’s Best Album?