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Ariana Grande’s return to the music industry has stirred up some opinions

Image from Vevo eternal sunshine music video
Image from Vevo “eternal sunshine” music video

Ariana Grande is best known for her pop songs, regarded as one of the most influential pop stars and a staple to the 2010’s. Grande began her career on Broadway’s “13” and rose to fame for her Nickelodeon role as Cat Valentine (“Victorious”). After announcing a break from recording, her newest album can come as a shock to some fans.

Her single, “yes, and?” was released on Jan. 12, 2024 and quickly became an internet sensation, taking the number one spot on the Forbes “Hot 100.” After her break from recording, she focused on her cosmetic line, acting career and personal life. On Mar. 8, 2024 she released her album “eternal sunshine,” which included “yes, and?” as well as eight other songs.

I’ve listened to Ariana Grande for years, her upbeat sounds and wide vocal range, including her well known whistle note, have accompanied her rise to fame. I’ve enjoyed all of Grande’s previous albums as they’ve all had a specific energy to them, however with “eternal sunshine” my first impression was different.

“eternal sunshine” was a solid album, a lot of the songs have a lustful undertone and contain references to Grande’s personal life. I enjoyed it as a whole and would recommend it, however, my preference would still be her older albums. That said, “eternal sunshine” as Grande’s return to the music industry is definitely worth listening to.

When “yes, and?” debuted, I felt it was similar to the rest of her previous songs, it had her upbeat tones and similar beats. This changed when I heard the rest of “eternal sunshine,” as I felt many of the songs in the album have softer vocals, such as “intro (end of the world).” The album as a whole is 35 minutes long. My favorite was “true story.” I also enjoyed “imperfect for you” and, with the same title as the album, “eternal sunshine.”

Grande said in an interview that the whole album was inspired by the movie, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) and the song, “eternal sunshine” itself is tied to the love story of the movie.

My favorite of the album, “true story” has a different tone as some of the other songs in the album, and is actually contradictory towards it’s first line, “This is a true story about all the lies” as Grande said in an interview this line was untrue. Grande also disclosed it was a setup for the next song in the queue, “the boy is mine.” I enjoyed “true story” because it had more of an intense vibe, with the deeper notes in the back track.

Song 12 of 13, “imperfect for you” also appealed to me. I felt it utilized Grande’s wide vocal range, as the first verse is sung in a lower tone than she usually goes for, and when the lyrics “imperfect for you” comes on, her voice wavers between a higher and lower pitch. I also noted the contradiction in the line “I’m glad we crashed and burned” as it was interesting to interpret.

The final song that caught my attention was one with the same name as the album, “eternal sunshine,” one of the longer songs in the track, coming at 3:30. I thought it tied all of the songs in the album together, as it showcased Grande’s higher and lower notes with a happy medium between the two.

It’s safe to say that “eternal sunshine” is a good album, but if you’re a fan of Grande’s older work, like I am, this may not be your new favorite.

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