Grande breaks records with ‘thank u, next’

Kaitlynn Breeden, Reporter

Less than six months after releasing her fourth studio album, Ariana Grande released her fifth album “thank u, next” on Feb. 8. The album’s title track debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100 in November and led for seven weeks.

The album broke the record for biggest day one global pop album on Apple Music. It is also the biggest day one global for a female artist on Apple Music and is no. 1 on Apple Music in 84 countries.

The album track list consists of 12 songs which have co-writers on all of them. Working on the album alongside Grande were 32 singer-songwriters, some being Max Martin, Scootie, Victoria Monet, and Wendy Rene.

The contrast between “Sweetener” and “thank u, next” is easy to see. “Sweetener” was almost too positive, including some beats produced by Pharrell Williams, while “thank u, next” is a more honest reality check. To me, “fake smile,” the fifth track on the album, is the bridge from “Sweetener” to “thank u, next.”

Though Williams produced many songs on Grande’s last album, he didn’t make an appearance on this one. “thank u, next” was produced by Andrew Wansel, Brian Malik Baptiste, Happy Perez, ILYA, Martin, Savan Kotecha, Scootie, Social House, TBHits, and Young Deon.

“fake smile,” “in my head,” and “ghostin” are my favorite songs off the album. In “fake smile” Grande sings about how she can’t pretend to be alright anymore, after suffering so much loss in the past two years. Almost everyone knows about the act of terrorism at her concert in Manchester in May 2017, where a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in the arena after her concert.

She then ended her relationship with Mac Miller in the spring of 2018, due to his struggles with substance abuse. Grande then started dating Pete Davidson, dealt with Miller’s passing in September 2018 and then broke off her engagement with Davidson.

Grande dealt with an abundance of emotional trauma in such a short time, and “fake smile” is her admitting that she can’t act like she isn’t still mourning. The most notable lyric from this song is, “I can’t fake another smile, I can’t fake like I’m alright. And I won’t say I’m feeling fine, after what I’ve been through I can’t lie.”“ghostin” is about being with one partner while still being emotionally connected to the last. The internet was quick to assume that the song is about Miller and Grande’s most recent ex, Davidson.

The main chorus of this song is, “I know that it breaks your heart when I cry again over him. I know it breaks your heart when I cry again ‘stead of ghostin’ him.”

“in my head” showcases Grande’s issue with falling for the idea of who she wants a guy to be, instead of who he actually is. The shadiest lyric on the album and on the track is, “Your Gucci tennis shoes runnin’ from your issues” but also has a lot of production value behind it.

Each song on the album underlines the importance of self-care, contemplation, and living authentically. “thank u, next” is a much darker album and is more mature than Grande’s past albums. It features different styles and sounds that Grande can seamlessly blend into.

“thank u, next” may be the biggest hit from the album, but every song shares a different side of Grande’s talent and her personal life.