Roughly two weeks ago, Ariana Grande announced that she would be dropping her newest album thank u, next on Feb. 8. The frenzy built up for the awaited date did not disappoint — the 12-track record is filled with hit after hit.
As of Friday morning — the day thank u, next was released — Grande held the top 10 places on the United States Top 50 playlist on Spotify, with the two other songs in the top 15. After she dropped the names of the songs on her Instagram on Jan. 22, the most buzzed was “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.” She dropped the music video for the song the same day as the album, featuring teenage heartthrob Charles Melton.
The album features many light-hearted and personal tracks. Besides “7 rings,” which she released on Jan. 18, and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” the next two top songs are “NASA” and “needy.” Ironically, these two songs’ messages directly contradict each other, and follow in the album's track placement. “Needy” is about what the title hints at — Grande admits to feeling needy after being “a lil’ messed up” from her past relationships and what she’s gone through. She apologizes for her insecurities, but says she can’t help it.
On the other hand, “NASA” is about needing space from her partner. Grande asks for alone time because she “ain’t nothing wrong with saying I need me time,” telling her partner that she wants to be independent even though she still loves the person. In the chorus, she brings back her usual self-confident lyrics by saying, “You know I’m a star; space, I’ma need space.” “NASA” is all about independence without renouncing her partner — Grande wants to focus on herself without appearing as though she doesn’t want to be with that person.
Thank u, next is an album for all moods. “Bloodline” has the potential to be the biggest hit as Grande praises the single life, saying that she doesn’t want anything but a one-night stand. With a strong, catchy beat, it’s hard to not love this song. Her most personal song is “fake smile,” with Grande expressing how tough things have been for her recently. She thanks her fans, but she says she “won’t say I’m feeling fine / After what I’ve been through I can’t lie.” Grande’s past is very public: her concert in May 2017 was bombed in England, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller passed away in 2018 and she ended her engagement with Pete Davidson one month later. Thank u, next is Grande’s album for rejuvenation and balance.
Grande wrote the album in just two weeks, according to Rolling Stone. Even so, thank u, next features hits that will last for years to come. She dropped yet another stunning album, and she makes it clear that she doesn’t plan to stop producing any time soon.