“thank u, next” and Ariana Grande’s self love

The Honeymoon Tour – Ariana Grande. Aug. 25, 2015. (Berisik Radio.com/Flickr)

With the bombing at her concert in Manchester, the tragic death of her ex, Mac Miller, and a failed engagement to Pete Davidson, Ariana Grande had quite the year. Her new single, “thank u, next,” has the public wondering how she always comes out on top. Her evident resilience in the track has fans firing off tweets inquiring who her therapist is and when they can book an open appointment. Grande takes an unusual path to the classic break-up song. Instead of putting out subtle hints, Grande calls out all of her exes by name, yet with nothing negative to say. Despite the ex references, we learn that the song is more about self love than anything else. “But this one gon’ last cause her name is Ari,” Grande sings, declaring that she is essentially dating herself. She’s moving on, though she appreciates what her exes did for her. It is a mature way to make a successful break-up song, but doesn’t lack the cheesiness. In a culture insistent on self care, the new song is already a massive commercial success, rocketing through Spotify charts and earning a place on Pitchfork’s Best New Music.  The song is classically pop and is true to Grande’s form as an artist. The repetition of “Thank you, next/Thank you, next/Thank you, next/I’m so fuckin’ grateful for my ex,” does seem a bit childish and mundane. We get the point, Ariana. Everyone loves a good self love type of ballad, but it feels as though this has been done a few too many times before. Despite all of that, the beat is catchy and quite unforgettable. In fact, the song has been stuck in my head all week. As the weather grows colder and you decide cuffing season isn’t for you, maybe “thank u, next,” is for you.  Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sofia Harris at sofia.harris@colorado.edu.

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