Tune In: Thank U, Next

Over the past few years, the 2017 Manchester concert bombing, the death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the end of her engagement with comedian Pete Davidson has repeatedly placed Ariana Grande in the media spotlight, with fans analyzing every line in her songs and tweets.

Already setting records on Apple Music, Grande released her album “thank u, next” on Feb. 8, baring her feelings on the recent drama in her life only months after the release of Grammy winning “Sweetener.”

While her attitude and tone has changed since the upbeat positivity of “Sweetener,” the quality of her music hasn’t, with catchy pop choruses and candid lyrics.

The album starts with “imagine,” a melodic and sweet ballad with lyrics revealing Grande’s hopes and dreams in a relationship. The song is filled with high-pitched whistle tones and full-voiced choruses.  Grande continues her impressive vocals and sentimental lyrics in “needy,” outlining her tendency to get easily attached in relationships.

The songs are a bit slower than her usual fast -paced hits, and I was able to thoroughly enjoy her vocal range and control.

While “Sweetener” emphasized girl power and her bubbly personality, “Thank U, Next” emphasizes difficulties and hardships that Grande has dealt with over the past few months.

By far the slowest and most emotional song on the album, “ghostin” hits listeners hard with lyrics about her difficulties dealing with the death of Mac Miller and sharing those feelings with ex Pete Davidson.

Lines such as  “I know that it breaks your heart when I cry again over him,” paint a deeper picture of Grande’s emotional turmoil. Grande’s vulnerability continues with the lyrics in “fake smile,” with high notes crooning that she can “Hear what they’re sayin’ on the TV. It’s gettin’ hard for them to shock me.”

Among the more sentimental songs in the album, Grande drops a couple riskier tracks, with songs like “7 rings,” “bad idea” and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” in which she sings about money and sex against a more hip-hop melody and heavier percussion.

While fans might find the departure from her softer melodies jarring, I thoroughly enjoyed the new genre of Grande’s music explored in this album, as Grande’s husky voice pairs well with the edginess of the lyrics.

Despite more risque songs, Grande doesn’t abandon her vibey pop sound, with bouncy beats and femininity in songs like “make up,” “NASA” and the viral single “thank u, next.”

Perfect for a night out or a spontaneous dance party, the light chords and vibrant choruses make the album sound familiar to Grande’s usual style.

With lyrics illustrating her in-depth feelings on recent events, “thank u, next” brings in a new era of Ariana Grande, establishing her as the pop icon of the decade with her impressive voice fitting both  her older and newer styles of music.