thank u, next is a 2019 album from singer Ariana Grande, as well as the title track from the album.
thank u, next was in the works two months after Sweetener, and was released just a mere 6 months later as she was getting tired of the usual release and promotional strategy of pop music. During that time period, Grande's ex-boyfriend and friend Mac Miller died due to an accidental drug overdose, and her engagement with comedian Pete Davidson ended. Grande channeled her pain and grief into the album's music and lyrics, working with her usual collaborators Victoria Monét, Max Martin, and Ilya Salmanzadeh. The album's title track "thank u, next", would be the first single and would about Grande being grateful for her previous relationships and lessons learned, before moving on. The single would be Grande's first number one single in America and the album would garner critical and commercial acclaim and would be considered Grande's signature work.
The album was supported by three singles, "thank u, next" (the Title Track), "7 rings", and "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored".
- "imagine" (3:32)
- "needy" (2:51)
- "NASA" (3:02)
- "bloodline" (3:36)
- "fake smile" (3:28)
- "bad idea" (4:27)
- "make up" (2:20)
- "ghostin" (4:31)
- "in my head" (3:42)
- "7 rings" (2:58)
- "thank u, next" (3:27)
- "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" (3:10)
This album contains the following tropes:
- all lowercase letters: Continuing the trend from Sweetener, the song titles are stylized with lowercase letters.
- Boastful Rap: "7 rings" sees Ariana rapping about being successful and rich.
- Break Up Song: "thank u, next" is about Ariana's break-ups with her previous boyfriends.
- Central Theme: Recovery, from trauma and painful experiences.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: "needy" sees Ariana regretting this about herself, and how it's driven by the trauma that she's been through.
- Grief Song: Ariana is coy on the topic when asked, but "imagine" is about Ariana wistfully reminiscing about Mac Miller.
- The Lost Lenore: Ariana's grief over Mac Miller and their lost love permeates throughout the entire album.
- Loving a Shadow: "in my head" (thought to be about Pete Davidson and their quick engagement/break-up) is about Ariana realizing that she fell in love with the version of Pete she created in her head instead of Pete himself.
- Money Song: "7 rings", is a Pop/Hip-Hop mashup of the common "I'm rich!" rap songs.
- Stepford Smiler: "fake smile" is about Ariana getting tired of pretending to be alright and plastering on a fake smile when she goes out.
- Whole Plot Reference: The music video for "thank u, next" is a recreation of the most memorable scenes of Mean Girls, Bring It On, 13 Going on 30, and Legally Blonde.