Ariana Grande Is Back With Her 7th Album 'eternal sunshine' [Album Review]

Ben Wego

It’s been a week since Ariana Grande dropped her 7th studio LP, 'eternal sunshine,' an allusion to the Jim Carey and Kate Winslet 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. At just the short 35 minute length, Grande masterfully delivers flavors from an electric pop and R&B angle, a sound that illuminates her incredible vocal ability. This album shapes Ariana Grande’s artistry to a new level with purpose, uncovering details of her marriage and a proud fuck you to the media’s negative attention on her and her controversial relationships.

Almost every artist comes under media scrutiny at least once in their career and this has been a whirlwind experience for Ariana Grande, who’s facing harsh accusations from the media involving her newly formed relationship with her Wicked costar Ethan Slater. It’s interesting how she chose this time to put out a new album under such intense negative perception, but there may have been no more perfect time considering that it’s been 3 and half years since her last album 'Positions' came out, along with coming out of a recent short lived marriage.

By now most people have heard the lead single from 'eternal sunshine' entitled “yes and..?” where Grande boldly slams her haters with the shocking line - “why do you care so much who’s dick i ride?”. She also released a remix with Mariah Carey, one of her vocal inspirations. While some listeners saw this track as careless and insensitive and well..not good, while some found it invigorating. It’s theme is similar to the idea she plays out on 2019’s “thank u, next” a comical goodbye to all of her exes. 

To dive into a few particular singles, “bye” is a catchy tune where she details her experience with divorce, a theme explored on the album. For one of the standout tracks “we can’t be friends (wait for your love),” the pop singer dropped a phenomenal music video starring alongside Evan Peters. This track brings us back to the melancholic electro pop feel of songs like “One Last Time” and “No Tears Left to Cry.”

“Supernatural” is another notable track with a sensual R&B infused vibe, an infectious hook, and a remix with singer Troye Sivan. “the boy is mine” interpolates Brandy and Monica’s 1998 track of the same name, and it’s an addictive listen that definitely raises some eyebrows about its subject.

And “I wish I hated you” feels incredibly personal with its lofi ambiance, joined by Grande’s acceptance that no matter how much pain her former husband caused her, she still can’t ever hate him. 

Ariana Grande accomplishes the pursuit of a concept album with 'eternal sunshine,' and it’s definitely a more personal and intricate route for her to take considering all the drama she’s been going through recently. “Thank u, next” also is a concept album that came post her relationship with Pete Davidson, but it contained more radio candy rather than intimate substance. Alternatively, 'eternal sunshine' captures the essence of the film’s message that not even some powerful machine (or in Ariana Grande’s case, divorce) can eliminate a person’s love, love is a feeling that someone can always remember even if they can’t explain why they feel it. It’s a more emotional deep dive into a celebrity's mishaps in their love life which are typically very publicized, although there was not much public information about her marriage, which is why the album serves that purpose of filling in those gaps and the aftermath.

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