Ariana Grande moves on fast. In her latest display of this quality, she’s put her Sweetener era on hold to announce her fifth studio album, Thank U, Next, which is supposedly due before the end of the year. Some fans didn’t believe she’d be able to pull an album out that fast, but on Saturday, Ariana proved us all wrong with a surprise release of the new album’s title track. This comes less than three months after Sweetener finally dropped, but much like the ex-boyfriends “Thank U, Next
is dedicated to, she’s ready to leave it in the past.
Although she’s always been one to say exactly what’s on her mind, Grande’s outdone herself with “Thank U, Next” – she doesn’t shy away from laying it all out there on this track at all. “Thank U, Next
is an empowering three minutes of self love dedicated to anyone grappling with heartbreak right now. In a world of pop songs focused on angry revenge fantasies or missing the one you once loved, Ariana brings something fresh to the table by spinning her break ups into something positive. She breezes through a list of her exes and the things they taught her – including a heartfelt wish that she could thank Mac Miller for being “an angel” – before deciding while boyfriends come and go, love for herself is what’s truly worth maintaining. While Sweetener feels left behind, its uniting themes of optimism and personal growth have been brought along for Thank U, Next. The song itself is dreamy but self-assured in its’ craft, offering the deeply personal vibe that wasn’t entirely there on Sweetener. It’s soft and sweet but still manages to be the perfect song to pump you up to take on the day.
Of course, despite the grace and maturity the subject matter of the song was handled with, it still dropped only minutes before the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. Crazy coincidence, right? At least Pete Davidson can now say he’s got the biggest record for namedrops in Ariana Grande songs.
The only worry that comes with such a sudden release is the lack of growth between the two albums – while an improvement, “Thank U, Next” could’ve easily been added to Sweetener’s lineup had it been released later in the year. But, if the tone of “Thank U, Next” is hugely indicative of what we’ll be seeing on this upcoming release, at least it looks like we’re in for something better.