Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” Song Review

Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and everyone recently has been going crazy over this new Ariana Grande single (especially since it’s her first #1 hit), so I decided to give it a listen.

Ariana is not new to this blog.  I did a song review on her single “God is a woman” from her album “sweetener” and gave it a fairly positive review.  The song’s dark trap beat fit well with the cunningly narcissistic lyrics of her sex being Godlike. However, this new single of hers has seemed to come out of nowhere, and everyone is going wild for it because it is apparently all about her exes.  People are still obsessed with her and Pete (for some reason), so I guess this song had a lot going for it from the get-go.  Well, let’s see if “thank u, next” lives up to the hype.

Thought I’d end up with Sean
But he wasn’t a match
Wrote some songs about Ricky
Now I listen and laugh
Even almost got married
And for Pete, I’m so thankful
Wish I could say, “Thank you” to Malcolm
‘Cause he was an angel

So this is the first verse, and it’s…eh.  I know why people are all going crazy over it, because it name-drops all her famous exes, but there is really nothing special about these lines.  She’s not roasting them in any way or saying anything eye-popping about them.  The only thing I can really talk about is the line about Mac Miller being a little too on-the-nose in reference to him being an angel.

One taught me love
One taught me patience
And one taught me pain
Now, I’m so amazing
I’ve loved and I’ve lost
But that’s not what I see
So, look what I got
Look what you taught me

The first three lines of this pre-chorus are a nice set of quotables, but again, this just isn’t doing much for me.  I can appreciate that instead of being spiteful to her exes, she is respecting them for what they have taught her, but I’m not really feeling it.  For as personal as this song is, it seems to be lacking substance.

Thank you, next (Next)
Thank you, next (Next)
Thank you, next
I’m so f*ckin’ grateful for my ex

I’m a little confused by this chorus, now, because it seems to be taking two sides.  The “Thank you, next” part shows Ariana being dismissive of her exes and saying “okay, I’ve moved on now”, but for her to go around and say she’s grateful for them in the next line seems a little bit big of a jump.  It’s just an odd juxtaposition that doesn’t work too well as a cohesive chorus.

Spend more time with my friends
I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’
Plus, I met someone else
We havin’ better discussions
I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon’ last
‘Cause her name is Ari
And I’m so good with that (So good with that)

Wow, could this be any more cheesy?  “I’ve found someone else to love; it’s me, because I love myself“.  I mean, it’s not a bad message, but you could not have executed it in any other way to make it more corny.

She taught me love (Love)
She taught me patience (Patience)
How she handles pain (Pain)
That sh*t’s amazing (Yeah, she’s amazing)
I’ve loved and I’ve lost (Yeah, yeah)
But that’s not what I see (Yeah, yeah)
‘Cause look what I’ve found (Yeah, yeah)
Ain’t no need for searching

I kind of like how this song changes its pre-chorus every time to show her progression in maturity, so I can give it a plus for that.

One day I’ll walk down the aisle
Holding hands with my mama
I’ll be thanking my dad
‘Cause she grew from the drama

Uh, doesn’t the dad usually walk the bride down the aisle?

Least this song is a smash

Nope.

Overall, I’m not really feeling this song.  I mean, I know why the Ari fans love it so much, but for everyone to be freaking out over this seems a little bit weird.  It’s a pretty bland pop track, in which the nearly non-existent instrumentals don’t add much and her voice, while being as good as usual, isn’t anything special for her.  Even with the few quotables throughout, the lyrics aren’t anything to call home to your mom about, either, and while many people are saying they love it for how personal it is, I could imagine almost any artist singing this if it wasn’t for the first verse specifically mentioning names of people Ariana dated.  It’s not a bad song, but there’s nothing special about it to make it stick out from all the other breakup songs out there.  For that, I’d rate this song a 2.5 out of 5, and to this song, I say “thank you, next”.

Thank you for reading my “thank u, next” song review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.

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4 thoughts on “Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” Song Review

  1. It’s an OK song, but I agree with you that there’s nothing special about it to distinguish it from so many other breakup songs. It makes me mad that it shot straight to #1 on Billboard (because Ariana is so popular her video and song got millions of streams), while far better and more deserving songs like Hozier’s “Nina Cried Power” or Jade Bird’s “Uh Huh” haven’t even charted! (other than on the Adult Alternative chart).

    Liked by 1 person

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