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Music / thank u, next

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thank u, next is the fifth studio album by American singer Ariana Grande. It was released by Republic Records on February 8, 2019.

Grande began working on thank u, next two months after releasing her previous album, 2018's Sweetener. The album was ultimately released a mere six months later, as she was getting tired of the usual release and promotional strategy of pop music. During that time period, rapper Mac Miller, Grande's ex-boyfriend and friend, 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, resulting in what was described as her most personal work to date. She worked on the album with her usual collaborators such as Victoria Monét, Max Martin, and Ilya Salmanzadeh.

The album's Title Track was released as the first single, its lyrics centered around Grande being grateful for the lessons learned from her previous relationships. The song debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, as did the album's second single "7 rings"; both became Grande's first number-one singles in America. A third single, "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored", was issued on the day of the album's release.

All of the album's 12 tracks would later enter the Hot 100, with the singles occupying the top three spots. This performance made Grande the first artist to hold the top three spots on the chart since The Beatles in 1964, and the third artist ever to have an album with two #1-debuting songsnote . The album itself debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 in America, topping the charts in over a dozen other countries, and received critical acclaim, being placed on the year-end and decade-end lists of several publications.

Track listing:

  1. "imagine" (3:32)
  2. "needy" (2:51)
  3. "NASA" (3:02)
  4. "bloodline" (3:36)
  5. "fake smile" (3:28)
  6. "bad idea" (4:27)
  7. "make up" (2:20)
  8. "ghostin" (4:31)
  9. "in my head" (3:42)
  10. "7 rings" (2:58)
  11. "thank u, next" (3:27)
  12. "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" (3:10)

I'm so fucking grateful for my 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.
    • "ghostin" is also grieving over a lover's death while being in a relationship, this song is thought to be about Mac Miller and Pete Davidson.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The outro of "Bad Idea" starts with a brief orchestral interlude after the song part ends, followed by a slowed-down reprise of the chorus.
  • 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.
  • Sampling:
    • "fake smile" has some elements of "After Laughter (Comes Tears)" by Wendy Rene at the beginning.
    • "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" re-uses the lyrics and melody from *NSYNC's "It Makes Me Ill" from their No Strings Attached album.
    • "7 rings" contains the melody from "My Favorite Things" straight from The Sound of Music.
  • 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.