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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Ariana Grande’s ‘eternal sunshine’ review

The pop star documents her journey of heartbreak and healing in her newest album

<p>"eternal sunshine" by Ariana Grande. | Republic Records.</p>

"eternal sunshine" by Ariana Grande. | Republic Records.

With a more healed version of her 2019 record-breaking album, “thank u next,” Ariana Grande’s latest album, “eternal sunshine,” takes listeners on a journey of heartbreak and self-love. 

The album came out last Friday and is already breaking records, becoming Spotify’s most streamed album in a single day in 2024 so far, according to Billboard.

The album is Grande’s seventh and follows her last album, “Positions,” which came out in 2020. 

Grande took a break from releasing new music to focus on herself and to get back to acting in the new “Wicked” movie. 

“I learned so much through [playing] Glinda [the Good Witch],” Grande said on the “Zach Sang Show.” “It helped me heal a lot of my own personal weird stuff with my relationship to music and to being an artist.” 

Her newest body of work is a concept album that references Grande’s favorite movie, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,”  a drama about a couple that undergoes a medical procedure to erase their memories of each other. Grande references the movie in the music video for “we can’t be friends (wait for your love),”  in the lyrics for the title track, “eternal sunshine.” 

“My relationship with music changed and healed a lot from taking space away from it,” Grande said, adding that “eternal sunshine” was the hardest and most emotional album she’s written.“I wrote some of [the songs] when I was very emotional. And then there are bops that are more fun. Actually, even some of the bops I cried writing.”

Grande’s first and only single for the album, “yes, and?” is a 90s-inspired bop that addresses how she is perceived in the media. Grande tells fans to “be their own f—king best friends” and to ignore the hate, showing people she is unfazed by the drama surrounding her new relationship with “Wicked” co-star Ethan Slater.

Grande also addressed some of her songs that leaked on TikTok, including the song “Fantasize.” She noticed that fans really liked the song, saying “I took note, and I kinda gave them Ariana’s version of that on the album.” 

Grande’s version of “fantasize” is now called “true story,” which also addresses social media rumors. “I’ll play the villain if you need me to,” Grande says, surrendering to the false claims about her and seemingly addressing a “homewrecker narrative” about her.

The second track on the album, “bye,” is a powerful anthem about finding yourself after a breakup. In reference to her divorce with ex-husband Dalton Gomez, Grande says she is “taking what’s mine, bye-bye, it’s over it’s over.” .

In addition to sadder songs like “don’t wanna break up again” and “imperfect for you,” the album is packed with bops like “supernatural,” “the boy is mine” and The album’s last track, “ordinary things,” which features Nonna, Grande’s grandma. The song is about enjoying the simple things in life. Nonna tells Grande at the end of the song, “never go to bed without kissin’ goodnight, and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you're in the wrong place, get out.” 

This album will have you crying, laughing and dancing at the same time. It’s the perfect balance of pop hits, meaningful lyrics, sad songs and dance tracks to enjoy with your friends. Although this album is short, it’s a no-skip album for me.

The arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com 

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