Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Ariana Grande releases new album

Courtesy of Apple Music

Earlier this month, pop-singer Ariana Grande dropped her seventh studio album on March 8. Most artists would (understandably) shy away or take a hiatus under the recent controversy surrounding her romantic relationships, but instead, Grande uses her music as a medium to talk about her relationships as well as those who have a lot to say about them.

Titled “eternal sunshine,” the album is named after the 2004 Jim Carrey film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Grande even accidentally released the album on Jim Carrey’s birthday. She plays on concepts from this movie throughout her beautifully crafted and relatable album. Grande has been a fan of Carrey since she was little, making this sentiment even sweeter.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the movie is about a dystopian world in which people can choose to erase their memories from a previous relationship, feeding into the universally-understood sentiment that sometimes mourning a person and a break-up is more painful than just forgetting them altogether. 

Grande plays with this concept especially in one of her more popular songs, “we can’t be friends.” Since we obviously don’t have software to erase and replace memories, Grande translates this sci-fi concept to the real-life equivalent: Being friends with your ex. “We can’t be friends” explores this very idea of needing to pretend your ex doesn’t exist in order to heal. 

Titled after the album, the fifth song touches on this concept as well, (ironically) calling her ex her ‘eternal sunshine’ not for his sunny demeanor but because she wishes she could forget him. “I’ve got a good boy and he’s on my side / you’re just my eternal sunshine.” Grande goes deeper into this idea, saying in the preceding verse, “so I try to wipe my mind / just so I feel less insane.” 

Despite the sad lyrics in both of these songs, each is clothed in an energetic and catchy melody. Whether intentional or not, the paradoxical nature of these songs mirrors the paradox that is the concept of “eternal sunshine.”

Following the trend, “don’t wanna breakup again” is another example of this upbeat yet sad formula. One of my personal favorites on the album, this song explores a feeling that we are all too familiar with of wanting to break up with somebody, but not wanting to lose them at the same time. 

A sad song both lyrically and compositionally, “i wish i hated you” is one of the songs I personally avoid because it makes me bawl my eyes out whenever I hear it. However, if you’re somebody who loves a good cry, you’ll fit right in with the thousands of users on TikTok who have made this their sad-girl/boy anthem.

Besides singing about her relationships, Grande also calls out those who have a lot of opinions on her relationships. In light of her recent controversy, Grande didn’t hide but instead responded by releasing the album’s single, “yes, and?”. The title speaks for itself, and the production’s interpolation of Madonna’s “Vogue” does the rest. Although there have been mixed reviews, some say her version featuring musical legend Mariah Carey elevates the song even more.

Grande keeps with this baddie mindset, this time calling out an ex-boyfriend in her song “true story.” Grande sings, “I’ll play the villain if you need me to / I know how this goes.” She continues with this vengeful spirit in the chorus, “this is a true story about all the lies / you fantasized ‘bout you and I,” even referencing her own unreleased song “Fantasize” that recently was leaked and went viral over TikTok. The album also features an a cappella version that highlights Grande’s impressive vocals even more.

Similar to “true story”, “bye” is another break-up anthem guaranteed to make any breakup a little easier. So much so, I almost found myself pretending I had been broken up with so I could feel the same satisfaction. But, don’t worry; you don’t need to be going through a break up to enjoy the song. Reminiscent of a ‘90s Destiny’s Child or TLC, the catchy beat and lyrics will have you dancing in no time. If you have trouble getting motivated to walk to your 8am like me, this song is also great for when you’re strutting your way through campus.

Lover boys and girls, don’t be discouraged quite yet. We’ve all heard the jokes about Grande’s new man Ethan Slater, but have you heard the songs she wrote about him?

Going off the 90s Bratz vibe, “the boy is mine” is the lover-girl version of “bye”. The song pulls from ‘90s R&B and even her own unreleased discography in what fans are calling the bigger, badder sister of “Fantasize”, a track that leaked and went viral over TikTok earlier this year. Grande shows her distaste to those who steal her music, but still finds a way to keep her fans fed by replacing “Fantasize” with an even better track. 

Her track “supernatural” has a more sultry take, comparing the love trance she’s in to possession with the lyrics “it’s like supernatural / this love’s possessing me / but I don’t mind at all.” In the pre-chorus, Grande beckons to her lover, “I want you to come claim it, I do / what are you waiting for?” Although both versions are good, the track featuring Troye Sivan is especially magnetic. 

“Ordinary things” is more of a classic love song in both lyrics and tonality, with this song being a little more relaxed. The song is a dedication to her lover, saying that, “no matter what we do / there’s never gonna be an ordinary thing / no ordinary things with you,” saying that even the most mundane things are extraordinary when she’s with her lover. Grande wraps up the song with a voice note from her beloved Nonna in which she gives wonderful relationship advice, “never go to bed without kissin’ goodnight. That’s the worst thing to do, don’t ever, ever do that. And if you can’t, and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it; you’re in the wrong place, get out.”

Grande finishes off the album with another love song, “imperfect for you”. At first glance, the song sounds like a typical love song, but according to her interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, this time it’s a love song for her closest friends and family. As Grande tells Lowe, “we’re so lucky to have loved ones who are accepting and real with us no matter what. We live in a time where everything is boiled down, but that song demands room for nuance, humanness, and complexity.”

Grande has always produced amazing music and chart-toppers, and while this album is no different, the rawness and honest of this project — especially under the stress of recent press — both provides a safe space for her fans who can relate and elevates her as an artist even more provides a safe space for her fans who can relate.

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