Musique No. 1: Aural Storytelling

“thank u, next” (single) by Ariana Grande

Given the title’s petty connotation, Ariana Grande’s 2018 single “thank u, next” surprises listeners by offering them a confession of loss, love, and an unapologetic faith in romance. In the song, Grande references her past relationships and thanks them individually for teaching her love, patience, and pain. Then she takes ownership of these lessons, and as if to hold them up for the world to recognize, she proudly assures her confidants, “Now I’m so amazing.” By no means is her tone haughty: Grande is not dissing anyone in this track; she is musing in her characteristically effervescent sweet-self—feminine and gracious. As she lets those memories of joy and woe fly away from her palms, Grande chants, “Thank you, next.” Toward the end, Grande dreams of the day of her wedding ceremony, holding hands with her mother, and thanking her father. “Only wanna do it once, real bad,” Grande sings. However, until then, Grande intends on continuing to live with herself—loving, maturing, and praying for the next experience.

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