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Monday May 20th

‘eternal sunshine’: Ariana Grande’s newest tracklist combines sounds from many earlier albums

<p><em>Much of the lyrical meaning behind the songs included in this album is deeply emotional, touching on many aspects of love, relationships and moving on from someone in your life. (Photo courtesy of </em><a href="https://music.apple.com/us/album/eternal-sunshine/1725913366" target=""><em>Apple Music</em></a><em>)</em></p>

Much of the lyrical meaning behind the songs included in this album is deeply emotional, touching on many aspects of love, relationships and moving on from someone in your life. (Photo courtesy of Apple Music)

By Tristan Weisenbach
Managing Editor

Ariana Grande has returned with the release of her seventh studio album “eternal sunshine,” more than three years since her last album release, “positions,” in October 2020.

“eternal sunshine,” released on March 8 and complete with 13 tracks, touches on many themes one would commonly experience throughout a relationship. Grande does not feature any other artists on this album — besides Nonna on the outro of the final song — and focuses solely on her own voice and emotions. 

The album opens with an interlude track, “intro (end of the world).” This intro is arranged very similarly to her album “positions,” with a strong presence of string instruments. The melody transitions well into the next track, “bye,” which also opens with strings. The musicality and instrumentation of this song makes it feel as if it’s straight off Grande’s 2014 album “My Everything.”

The titular track, “eternal sunshine,” brings the vibe back to her “thank u, next” album with a trap-type beat. “supernatural” continues the same tone, and is more upbeat compared to many of the other songs on the album. 

Despite being a slower track, “the boy is mine” is a standout on the album. The heavy bass beat carries this tune, and the unique melody — including the unusual yet catchy slowdown right before each chorus — makes this song one of the best.

The only single released prior to the full album, “yes, and?” is still one of the strongest songs. The extended intro on this track compared to the others sets this up to be an exceptional example of true pop music. This dance-like track is arguably the most radio-friendly tune of them all.

Track 10, “we can’t be friends (wait for your love),” matches the same pop energy, and I envision this song also becoming a radio hit. The vocals on the bridge are heavenly and make for a perfect fit. On March 9, Grande performed this song, along with “imperfect for you,” on “Saturday Night Live.”

“ordinary things” ends the album with yet another trap-heavy beat. This song is a nice way to finish the album, and features a spoken-word outro by Nonna. 

Overall, “eternal sunshine” is was a well-done return by Grande to mainstream music. Having spent the last few years filming for the upcoming two-part “Wicked” movie series, Grande hasn’t released much since her 2020 album. 

Sounds from many of Grande’s earlier albums are present in the arrangements and instrumentations here. The earlier songs in “eternal sunshine” show resemblance to “My Everything,” while the middle and end of the album features heavy bass found throughout “thank u, next.” String melodies heard often in “positions” can also be heard throughout. 

One aspect of the album that is noticeably lacking compared to her previous works, however, is her powerhouse vocals. Grande’s vocal abilities are impeccable, and we miss a lot of that on “eternal sunshine.” Whistle notes and high vocal runs are largely absent anywhere on this tracklist. However, I believe this was Grande’s intention.

Much of the lyrical meaning behind the songs included in this album is deeply emotional, touching on many aspects of love, relationships and moving on from someone in your life. Except for a few, many of the songs have slower, calmer vibes that don’t require the robust up-front vocals that Grande is known for. 

Even though “eternal sunshine” was not the dance-pop powerhouse album that some of us may have been hoping for, Grande’s focus on vocal harmonies, soothing instrumentations and meaningful lyrics makes this album worth the listen.




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