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Album Review: Ariana Grande – eternal sunshine

2 min read

Pop songstress Ariana Grande has been solidly in the public consciousness since her 2013 debut Yours Truly announced her music to the world. Since then, she has grown and grown, receiving billions of streams and rising to be one of the biggest pop stars in the world. After her longest gap between albums ever, this month saw the release of her seventh, eternal sunshine.

The album begins with the lush and extravagant intro (end of the world). Lyrically, Ariana delves into relationship troubles, wondering if the person she’s with is judging her the same way that she judges herself, and whether she knows if she’s in the right relationship or not. It’s a ponderous beginning that leads into the 70s disco inspired bye. The high strings and wah-wah guitars backing the modern beat compliment the low-key but catchy vocals. Saturn Returns Interlude is an intriguing spoken word piece that talks of the planet’s cycle and being ready for when it comes around again. It leads perfectly into the title track, which brings back the contemporary production that Ariana is known for. Her harmonies are on point, and as far as low-key songs on this album it is definitely a highlight.

Both supernatural and true story take a synth pop approach, lacking in development but entertaining enough to hook the listener in for the duration. the boy is mine takes this style and elevates it, mixing the house synth stabs and twinkling touches to create a hypnotising pop song. Single yes, and? sticks out on the record for being one of the most upbeat tracks, as well as being the only track to take inspiration from 90s dance. we can’t be friends (wait for your love) and i wish i hated you strip back the instrumentation to highlight Ariana’s vocals, the latter especially being a gorgeous ballad. The final tracks imperfect for you and ordinary things featuring Ariana’s own grandma, or Nonna, counteract each other in sound but match thematically, the former being about escaping with the one you love while the latter brings a timeless feeling with Nonna giving advice about love.

eternal sunshine is a turned-down Ariana, with the majority of the pop glitz gone, but in its place is a thoughtful, retrospective, and hopefully record about the trials of love. The production is toned down but still as lavish and expertly arranged as ever, and lyrically it may be one of her strongest outings yet. It won’t be an album for everyone, even some of her fans may see it as a lull in her usual upbeat demeanour, but given time with it most will see the album’s true appeal.