in my head
thank u, next
break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored
After the success of Sweetener last year, Ariana Grande returns with an album that outshines all of her previous work. With a sexy, self-assured swagger and an incredibly mature tone, Ariana Grande continues to impress with her best album to date, thank u, next.
While a lot of the tracks here begin in much the same way, with a snippet of audio that sets the tone for the song in question, what follows from here is a mixture of bouncy, upbeat tracks and heartfelt melodies directed toward the female star’s flaws and experiences. Opening with imagine, a track that shows off the range and sonic clarity of the 25 year old, thank u, next takes us on a musical journey through various emotional states across the 12 tracks on offer.
Personal favourites here include NASA, Bloodline and Bad Idea which all typify that self-assured swagger oozing through most of the album. It helps that each of these tracks have some really recognisable instruments used that help it stand out against some of the other tracks on the album. To contrast this upbeat tone is Ghostin, a heartfelt and emotionally charged ballad, paying homage to the death of Mac Miller. It’s a stunning song too and one that fans will likely gravitate toward the most.
The compositions themselves are tightly produced, with a sonic clarity and an emphasis on lyrics, with the instrumental, backing tracks complementing this perfectly thanks to a solid tempo throughout. This continues right up to some of the more recent single releases, 7 rings and thank u, next which are interestingly relegated to the end of the album.
The decision to place these recently released singles here is another clever inclusion and one that shows a competent musicality from the female artist. It also helps keep the album feeling fresh and new throughout its audibly pleasing 45 minute run time. It’s ultimately Ariana Grande’s singing that really shines here though and this time around Ariana delivers a staggering range of instant pop classics. If I had to guess, Bloodline is one that’ll likely blow up in the charts with Ghostin not far behind.
Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that thank u, next is a very, very good pop album. It’s easily Grande’s best work to date and her intelligent musicality combined with some catchy songs and heartfelt lyrics make this one of the biggest surprises of the year so far. After the success of Sweetener many questioned where Ariana would go from here but few predicted she’d produce the best album of her career thus far. Take a bow Ariana Grande, thank u, next is a fantastic album and one that deserves recognition.
Verdict - 8.5/10