Everything Mililani’s Music Review: “Thank U, Next”

Everything Mililani's Music Review:

Daisy Ann Hipolito, Reporter

     On Feb. 8 2019, pop singer and radio hit queen Ariana Grande released her fifth album, “thank u, next.” Fans all around the world, myself included, couldn’t wait to indulge themselves in more of her witty lyrics and catchy hooks, especially after the previous release of her three teaser tracks, “thank u, next,” “imagine,” and “7 rings.” After getting a taste of these title tracks, no one knew what to expect from Grande’s album except for the fact that it was going to be a good one. And, of course, a few listens, tears and dance parties later, I can confirm that expectation was indeed met.

Following Grande’s last album “Sweetener,” an album filled with tunes that reflected her easy going and loveable personality, “Thank U, Next” feels as if someone flipped a switch. Through a combination of techno pop and string heavy ambience, Grande takes her listeners through a reflection of where she used to be and where she is now through tunes with a lot more vibe rather than quirk.

Songs like “NASA,” “bloodline,” “7 Rings,” “bad idea” and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” (catchy title, right?), stuck out as the most catchy yet most 2D songs. Of course, I love all of the songs off of Grande’s album, though I find that these five serve no other purpose than to be played during a dance party or in the car with your friends. All revolving around the idea of not wanting to get to attached to a man and being satisfied with herself (or you know, all of the money she references to in 7 Rings), they make pretty solid girl anthems, and I’m not complaining.  Though yes, all of these songs definitely hold dance party potential, songs like “imagine,” “thank u, next,” “needy,” and “make up” stuck out the most to me as songs not only well produced, but also well written and vocalized by none other than the very talented Grande herself. I often found myself blown away by the way Grande constantly delivered with numerous belts, layered harmonies and her ability to outsing songs off of her previous album that were proven pretty darn hard to outsing. As for “imagine,” lets just say hitting those whistle notes are harder than you think.

Finally, the two songs that left the biggest impression on me, a very emotional and over analytical person, were ironically the two slowest songs on the album. Before you read ahead, hear me out. Both “fake smile” and “ghostin” did more than provide me with a tune to just listen and sing along with. Instead, through a combination of its composition, lyrics, aura, and of course vocals, these songs provided the most storytelling; which I believe is what music is all about. The composition of “fake smile” reflects the lyrics Grande sings like no other song on the album does, transitioning from a low, grungy beat when the obstacles and lows of a celebrity is explained, to a light and hopeful melody when Grande choses to let go of her fake smile and get rid of all of the negative energy in her life (not to mention the attitude filled bridge). “ghostin,” on the other hand, relies on a simplistic yet angelic sounding backtrack that highlights Grande’s lyrics and vocals even more as she sings about the recent passing of her ex-partner Mac Miller and how her sadness also affected her relationship with her ex-fiance, Pete Davidson. Grande delivered these two songs in ways only some artists can, and this “girl with a whole lot of baggage,” nailed it.

Do yourself a favor and listen to “Thank U, Next.” Who knows? You might find yourself saying, “Thank u, Ariana,” too.