Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Is Her Best Album To Date

Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Is Her Best Album To Date

This is truly her magnum opus.

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Okay, I know: my previous article made obvious that I wasn't a fan of 'Thank U, Next' because it became an annoying cultural reference in social media. Still, I'd say Ariana Grande's fifth album is worth the 41 minutes of your day. It's that good.

Ariana Grande's encountered quite a few barriers after releasing her fourth studio album 'Sweetener' six months ago: the unfortunate death of her ex-boyfriend and rapper Mac Miller, the demise of her publicized relationship with comedian Pete Davidson and controversy with rappers Soulja Boy and 2 Chainz for allegedly stealing their lyrical style in her most recent single "7 Rings".

Just before her recent album's release on Friday, Grande's axed her scheduled performance at the 61st Grammy Awards due to lack of consideration for her creative freedom. Love her or hate her, Grande's perseverance and consistency is untouchable, and it shows in 'Thank U, Next'.

Admittedly, I wasn't a fan of her previous album 'Sweetener' at first listen; it was dominantly overwhelmed with experimental yet unsuitable production by Pharrell Williams. Conceptually, I deemed 'Sweetener' a bubbly, energetic life-size Candy Land musical. It didn't work as well, though.

But 'Thank U, Next' is superior to its predecessor—a dark, honest and emotional album we truly needed from Grande. Unlike 'Sweetener', Grande's at her most vulnerable, slowly transitioning into the contemporary R&B; stratosphere. This is evident in her fifth track, "Fake Smile" where she confronts her troubles with fame, admitting she's unhappy and refuses to put on a façade.

Meanwhile, her most heartbreaking song is "Ghostin" with an instrumental that, reportedly, is a slowed-down version of Mac Miller's song "2009". Speaking of the production: literally amazing; the blazing horns in "Bloodline" which complements Beyoncé's "Countdown" and the trap-influenced breakdown at the end of "Bad Idea" are definitely the key highlights.

The final song of the album, "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" is an intriguing song title that lives up to its expectations. Sampling boy band NSYNC's "It Makes Me Ill", the song tackles Grande's longing for someone she doesn't know, who's in a relationship. In the accompanying music video, we see the polar opposite of what the song means. The song's lyrical content and production is pure R&B; and pop-infused nostalgia we all needed.

Ariana Grande - break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored

There isn't a track on this album that you should skip. If it were 'Sweetener', I'd probably skip a few. This is definitely her most cohesive album to date since her third album 'Dangerous Woman'.

Truly, 'Thank U, Next' is her magnum opus.

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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10 Songs You Probably Haven't Heard Of That You Should Add To Your Playlist Immediately

Just a little taste of the WORST taste to satisfy your music needs.

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There are countless amounts of fantastic songs out there, and sometimes it could be quite difficult finding the right ones to satisfy your edgy needs. I personally feel like music is very important when it comes to figuring out someone's personality. I love music and exploring new genres every single day, so I'm going to share those songs that I found, with you! So without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite songs that you probably haven't heard:

1. "Slip Away" by Perfume Genius

To start off the list, I am going to talk about one of my favorite songs at the moment. The lyrics of the song speak of forbidden love and throwing yourself into a relationship that other people are trying to stop. The two people know they have something real, and they don't have to worry about those who say no. In Mike's life, this forbidden love is referring to gay love and how the world sees it as wrong.

2. "This Charming Man" by The Smiths

Now this banger is where The Smiths first made their way into my head. Handsome and sexually confused young cyclist crashes and punctures one of the wheels, leaving him stranded, until he's picked up by a strangely obliging gent who convinces him that getting married would be a mistake and a fiasco, and presumably seduces him on the smooth leather of the passenger seat. Gotta love it.

3. "would it really kill you if we kissed" by Heather June

Now this is where it's at. You know that mood you're in when it's 2 a.m. and you're staring at the dark ceiling and you don't exactly know WHAT mood you're in, but you can tell that you're in one? This song hits that nail on the head. It has such a smooth attribute to it and it is so easy to fall in love with.

4. "Needs" by Verzache

My cousin's boyfriend showed me this next song, and it actually impressed me with how rad it sounded. The song "Needs" deals with the subject of betrayal. The vibe of the song gives off a flashback 70's type funk, with its steady drum beat, catchy bass lines, glossy-like guitar patterns, and classic Rhodes keys with lots of effects, but with a small twist of electronic enhancements.

5. "Forget It" by Getter

This song has one of the catchiest choruses you would probably ever hear. You would have to watch the video to really understand the meaning of the song. The video displays a man who is addicted to drugs and ends up crashing his car, killing his girlfriend in the process. He then clones her and brings life to all of the bodies that he has made, but they eventually die because they can only last so long.

6. "How Can I Love You" by Yellow Days

The beginning of this song starts with a very catchy piano tune that is sure to stick in your head. This song is about a relationship that is broken. Both sides still love each other and care deeply, yet they both know it would not work out even if they tried again and again. Both seem to be lost without each other and can't seem to move on, but how can they love each other if there are broken pieces that cannot be mended?

7. "Growing Pains" by Florence Rose

I listen to lots of post-punk revival, indie rock type stuff, and this band is honestly right in that alley. They aren't very well known around my area, but their songs are extremely catchy and could be listened to by literally anyone. This song specifically sparks my interest because everything about it is incredibly relatable. "I just need some time, to figure out what I wanna do with my life and who I wanna be." It speaks to me as a teenager in college, still not knowing where I wanna go in life. 10/10 strongly recommend!

8. "Ayla" by Atlas

There's not really much to say about this song. It's simply amazing. The chorus has one of the greatest build-ups I've heard to this day. I cannot really interpret a meaning behind the song, but I know that I listen to it every single time I feel like going on a walk. It's honestly just a beautiful song. It has a type of vibe that I would hear in the background of a video collage of a journey.

9. "Never" by Christian Leave

I'm pretty sure that a lot of people know the famous Christian Leave for his hilarious vines (RIP), correct? Well, he makes music too! The realness in his voice is absolutely surreal. He has so much emotion and heart in his voice, it's honestly just unbelievable. I could go on and on about how much I love this song. I would highly recommend everyone to give him a listen. You will not regret it.

10. "She Needs Him" by Her's

I found this song on the New Music Mix on Apple Music, and I do not regret it whatsoever. I listen to lots of songs on repeat of course, but this song is played by me every single day. This song details the insecurities and fears of the narrator, who is in love with a girl that is with another man. This band has actually cited The Smiths specifically as an influence upon this song, both in its composition and lyrics. The beginning is upbeat, and the end is slowed down, so it catches every mood. It is a song that is very difficult to get out of your head.

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