Ariana Grande’s personal life and a new album are splashed across headlines

Marvin Villanueva, Senior

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After possibly the most turbulent year of her career, pop songstress Ariana Grande struts a fresh air of self-assurance through her latest studio album, thank u, next.

Last year was rough, to say the least for Ariana Grande.

Still dealing with the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing during her Dangerous Woman world tour, Grande bounced back quickly and returned with a benefit concert, One Love Manchester.

A few months later, after their two year long relationship, Grande and rapper, Mac Miller, announced their split. Eight days after acknowledging the break-up publically, the singer was then seen romantically linked with Saturday Night Live cast member, Pete Davidson.

Davidson and Grande’s fast-paced relationship was paparazzi catnip. With the news of Miller’s DUI, the couple’s sudden engagement after dating for only a month, and the release of her last album, Sweetener, Grande failed to escape the public’s gaze.

News then spiraled out of control as it was revealed in September that Miller had died of a sudden drug overdose. Abruptly, Davidson and Grande then called it quits with their sudden romance.

Subsequently, Davidson later went on and joked about the relationship on SNL and Grande sent her own rebuttal with the surprise-release of her first single “thank u, next,” ending the year not with a diss track, but with an ode to her past relationships and ultimately, herself.

Through every tragedy, Grande has held her own and wielded an ironclad resilience, thank u, next is only the next glimmering.

Starting out of the gate with the passionate “imagine,” Grande does not waste any time exhibiting her impeccable vocals. Stringing weaves of gold through her voice, Grande sets the tone of the record and confidently expresses the state of her love life.

Exposing her emotions freely, Grande leaves every card on the table. On the synth-powered “needy,” she expresses her ability to maintain control, personally and emotionally, by revealing her faults and accepting them. While on the R&B fused “NASA,” Grande confidently proves her vocal range under an formation of colliding synths as she conveys a need to be distant from relationships singing: “I’ma need space/I’ma, I’ma need space/you know I’m a star.”

This cacophony of emotional shifts never ceases to end across thank u, next. Through the swaying, “fake smile,” Grande gives listeners an exposé of her own life and shows how through fame, she had to bottle every emotion while on the string-based ballad “ghostin,” she discloses the need to move past everything.

Dizzyingly effervescent and tastefully braggadocious, thank u, next is a sonically weaved pop record that oozes craftsmanship and elegance, further cementing not only Grande’s tenacity to craft broad emotions into steadfast earworms, but also her absolute most magnificent work of her career.

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