Album Review: thank u, next
My first observation here is that thank u, next sounds a lot like Ariana’s summer ‘18 album Sweetener. If you liked that album, you will probably like this one. With that in mind, however, I would say that her newest project is slightly more R&B focused genre-wise, and less pop-centric than her previous releases.
Sweetener was definitely not my favorite Ariana album, but I think thank u, next solves some of the problems I had with it. Simply speaking, some of these newer songs are much more interesting, both lyrically and musically. In my opinion, the best tracks on thank u, next far outshine the highlights from Sweetener.
With that being said, however, thank u, next still suffers from similar problems: the range in song quality is ridiculous. Every album is going to have some standouts, and while there are definitely some great songs here, for every amazing one, there is a boring and forgettable addition I won’t ever listen to outside of the album. “make-up” and “fake smile” are just similar versions of other tracks she has previously recorded and essentially offer the same message.
I am by no means trying to shade Ari by saying this; I have a lot of respect for her! But this isn’t an 18-20 song album that has room for duds. A 12-track album requires a higher level of curation that seems to be lacking here. I will say though that when the songs on thank u, next are good, they are fantastic. “ghosting” might be one of Ariana’s post beautiful and meaningful songs to date, while “bloodline” bops way harder than anything on Sweetener. I am also a huge fan of the first two singles which were released (“thank you, next” and “imagine”).
Overall, This album is a great opportunity to add a few new jams to your playlists, but it’s not really a phenomenal piece of work on it’s own. thank u, next.
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