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The Student News Site of Hayfield Secondary School

The Harvester News

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eternal sunshine: Ariana Grande’s most cohesive and best album

Photo+courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

          She’s back and better than ever. Grande, who spent the last half of 2023 being scrutinized for “home-wrecking” allegations has won back her image with the one thing she does best: music. Eternal Sunshine, the pop singer’s latest and 7th studio album, is now available and despite being her shortest album, it is undoubtedly her best project yet. This is her first conceptual album, which answers the questions of love, friendships, and self-image. Grande reveals her own heartbreak, with the divorce from her husband Dalton Gomez, and her healing from the pain she’s endured by staying in that marriage. Eternal Sunshine is not only her most stable album yet on streaming platforms such as Spotify but was given a perfect 100% score by Rolling Stone, naming the album an “instant classic.” 

         Ariana Grande has made it very clear that the album all ties and connects. She refused to release any additional snippets of the other tracks in addition to the lead single, ‘yes, and?’. And she made the most absolute right decision, Eternal Sunshine is best understood, enjoyed, and listened to in the order of the tracks. 

 

          1. intro (end of the world)

          The intro track of all of Grande’s albums sets up the mood for the entire album. This can be seen with her past intro tracks like ‘Moonlight’ for Dangerous Woman and ‘shut up’ for her last album, Positions. However, the intro track for Eternal Sunshine not only sets up the album in a perfect way with a soothing instrumental, (very different from the opening of yes, and?’) but explains what Grande is going to be singing about. The first line starts with, “How can I tell if I’m in the right relationship?”. She immediately acknowledges the tension in her past marriage with Dalton and acknowledges that “if the sun refused to shine”, then she may have doubts about staying. The mood and instrumentation of just the intro track perfectly set up Eternal Sunshine, a more calm and R&B style compared to what others heard with ‘yes, and?’. It’s simply the best intro she’s made. 

         2. bye 

          This song embodies pop perfection, and Grande incorporates some style aspects back into her debut album, ‘Yours Truly.’ The preppy and explosive chorus makes you want to skip down the street, shopping bags in hand, with your best friends. Ariana talks about how she finally has the courage to leave her painful marriage, and personally describes the experience, name dropping her friend Courtney, “Courtney just pulled up in the driveway.” The scene in Gossip Girl where Blair is walking down the streets in Paris with multiple designer bags in hand, is the exact visual definition of this song: a pure ‘that girl’ anthem.

          3. don’t break up again 

          At first, listen, this song did not stand out to me. However, after listening to the album multiple times, it has become one of my favorite tracks. It’s not only completely soothing to the ears, but the chorus is extremely satisfying. The lyrics on this track reveal many things Ariana Grande had to deal with during her marriage with Dalton. It opens up with “I fall asleep crying, you turn up the TV, you don’t wanna hear me, one more sleepless night.” She’s a master of singing absolutely painful lyrics yet covering them up with a soothing and upbeat instrumental and production. This song reveals Ariana Grande’s reluctance to break up with Dalton, despite being neglected and treated horribly as his wife. Although this song may not be as ‘explosive’ as the others, it will definitely become one of your favorite tracks off the album after a few listens.   

         4. saturn returns interlude 

          Although there is no singing on this track, it is not a skip. It’s a must-listen when you are listening to the songs in order. The instrumental for this interlude is majestic. It’s beautiful, and the woman speaking not only reflects the theme of Eternal Sunshine Spotless of the Mind, the movie from which the album is inspired, but it also is relevant to the healing Ariana Grande is going through. This interlude is the perfect transition to the next track, with Ariana Grande’s laugh at the end, the best transition in the album from track to track. 

          5. eternal sunshine

          Every Ariana Grande title track from the albums she’s released is simply the best, prime examples being Dangerous Woman, Thank U Next, and Positions. The unique thing about Eternal Sunshine is the incorporation of the styles from past Grande albums. The trap beats and style are back with this track, paying homage to the style that dominated Thank U Next, which is her most popular album. This song is just so addicting, and the shocking lyrics make it a track to come back to every time. Grande reveals that not only did Dalton, her husband, neglect her but also cheated on her, in the vicinity of her home and bed. Although personally, it may not be the most vocally strongest title track compared to the others, this track is still an amazing listen because of its versatile style.

          6. supernatural

          Listening to this track for the first time at midnight on Friday is an unforgettable experience. This is my favorite track off the album, and in my opinion, the most memorable. Not only does this track have the most amazing production, but the entire song is just so captivating. If you were to be floating in space, this is the track you would be listening to. The chorus and melody are just so unique, and I could not get it out of my head. This song is an out-of-world experience, one of the best songs Ariana Grande has ever produced and made.

          7. true story

          Despite this song already having leaked, this track is another example why Eternal Sunshine is her best album, due to the insane vocal and instrumental production. The vibe and style of this song give off ‘Dangerous Woman’, a past album known for a darker aesthetic. The lyrics not only address the rumors that have ransacked Ariana Grande for the past few months but also play into the role the media has portrayed the singer to be. “I’ll play the villain if you need me to,” and “I’ll play the bad girl you need me to,” is Ariana Grande acknowledging the role that people view her to be. This song is characterized by amazing vocals and perfect production.

          8. the boy is mine

          When the track list was first revealed, everyone was talking about this track due to its title. Paying homage to ‘The Boy is Mine’ by Brandy and Monica, there was a lot of pressure and great expectation to do the original song justice. This track is one of the most memorable of the album. It is extremely addicting, and Grande refers to this song as her version of Fantasize, a 90s track that leaked and went viral on TikTok. Continuing with playing the ‘villain’ or ‘bad girl’, Ariana Grande pokes fun at the “homewrecker” role. She even acknowledges in an interview that it would be fun to play more into it, despite it all being fake. The production in this album is amazing and insane, the slow down in the chorus is extremely satisfying to hear. This song takes the crown as the most memorable and addictive song from the album.

          9. yes, and?

          Everyone knows this song already, as it was the lead single for the album. At first, I was shocked to see such a new style being taken upon by the singer, and to be completely honest did not listen to the song willingly after the release. However, after listening to the tracks in order of the album, it makes it so much better. The most ironic thing about this track is that this song is the most contrasting song from the others. This goes to say that the entire album gives off a very different vibe and style from the leading single. Therefore, if you didn’t like yes, and? don’t think that the album is not for you, the other tracks are very different. Although it is my least favorite, just because of how good the other songs are, I appreciate and enjoy the song much more when listening to it in the order of the track list (which is crucial to do for a conceptual album like this one).

          10. we can’t be friends (wait for your love)

          Ariana Grande has been waiting for another big hit since the release of 7 Rings. And she’s found it, with her one of her best, if not the best, single yet. This song is just so beautiful, and the beauty of it comes from not only Max Martin’s amazing production but the personal and raw lyrics. We Can’t Be Friends (wait for Your Love) can be interpreted in so many different ways, Whether it’s the ending of relationships or friendships, which may be the literal meaning of it due to her divorce from Dalton, it also addresses the media hate train she’s been subjected to for the past months. Lyrics like “me and my truth, we sit in silence”, “wait until you like me again”, or my favorite, “don’t like how you paint me yet I’m still here hanging,” are why this song is so good: it’s beautifully raw and personable. This style from Grande is so refreshing to hear, and although she’s not belting vocals and endorsing a trap beat, it is easy to recognize how beautiful the simplicity of this song is. It’s on track to be her biggest hit yet, going viral on TikTok and rising in streams every day on all music platforms. As of right now, it is number one on music’s biggest chart, Billboard’s Hot 100.

          11. i wish i hated you

          It’s not an Ariana Grande album without one song in which you cry when you listen to it. Even though she sings about leaving and healing, in this track she acknowledges that she never wanted to do so in the first place. This song is about her divorce, and the pain from both the lyrics and vocals (you can hear her crying in the second chorus) just make this song both memorable and very sad. I still think that the best Ariana Grande sad song is ghostin, which to me, is the saddest song in the world, but this song is still amazing too.

          12. imperfect for you

          I keep praising the production of Eternal Sunshine, and rightfully so. Especially in this song, the vocal production is so unique and amazing. During the chorus, Grande purposefully sings “imperfect for you” in a minor/imperfect tone to highlight the imperfection that she has. It’s extremely satisfying to listen to, and after the sadness of the last track, imperfect for you serves as a perfect transition to the last track for the album. She names this song as one of her favorites off the album, and although it’s not one of mine, I still absolutely love it.

         13. ordinary things (feat. nonna)

          The only feature on this album is Ariana’s grandma, a very important and influential figure in her life. This is a perfect song to end off the album, as she sings about finding the love she needs and that there are “no ordinary things” in her life anymore. However, the most memorable or beautiful thing about this song is Nonna’s monologue at the end, in which she answers the question that was asked in the intro. 

          The album starts with a question that Ariana asks: ‘How do I know if I’m in the relationship?’, and ends with an answer that Nonna answers: ‘And as I told her, never go to bed without kissin’ goodnight, that’s the worst thing to do, don’t ever, ever do that, and if you can’t, and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you’re in the wrong place, get out.’ I love this album due to the absolute personal artistry that Ariana Grande poured her heart into. This album is ultimately her best. 

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About the Contributor
Jaslyn Truong, Editor-in-chief
Hi everyone, I am Jaslyn Truong! I love to write and I hope you all enjoy my stories, thank you! As Editor- in-chief I hope you all enjoy the stories by our Harvester News staff. In college, I plan to pursue studying both Political Science and Communications. 

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