Ariana Grande is her most vulnerable yet in her newest album ‘eternal sunshine’

Courtesy of Republic Records

Ariana Grande released her seventh studio album, “Eternal Sunshine,” on March 8, 2024, following an almost four-year wait since her last album. Released under Republic Records and produced by Grande along with Max Martin, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Oscar Gorres and more, the highly anticipated album did not disappoint fans, bringing one of the most introspective, emotional albums of the singer’s career. 

In the first song of the album, titled “intro (end of the world),” Grande pegs the question “How can I tell if I’m in the right relationship?” In essence, the entire album strives to answer this question, as Grande grapples with upsetting loss, unexpected new love and the disillusion that stems from heartbreak. 

The album title is inspired by the 2004 drama, “Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind,” starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a pained ex-couple who, after a difficult breakup, both wish to undergo a procedure that will erase their memories of each other. In July 2023, it was reported Grande had split from her husband, Dalton Gomez, after two years of marriage. Using her personal life as a possible inspiration, Grande turns the disappointment and regret after divorce into sentimental synth beats. 

If you had the chance to wipe someone from your mind, would you? Would you erase all the good memories, if it meant getting rid of the bad ones? Grande spends the 36-minute record pondering this. 

In the album title track, “eternal sunshine,” Grande seemingly decides ignorance is indeed bliss, singing “You’re just my eternal sunshine / So I try to wipe my mind / Just so I feel less insane / Rather feel painless.” 

In the track “i wish i hated you,” Grande tries to make sense of the lingering, complicated feelings toward her ex. “But no matter how I try to / And no matter how I want to / And no matter how easy things could be if I did / I wish I hated you …” Grande sorrowfully sings, her voice breaking into a soft cry.

Lyrically, “eternal sunshine” is Grandes best. It is almost entirely self-written, and every song is deeply authentic. 

The most stunningly written song on the album comes from the tenth track, “we can’t be friends (wait for your love).” The upbeat, synth-pop track is deceiving, as it brings the most painful lyrics. Grande agonizingly writes of a love gone wrong, as she senses the most important person in her life will soon be a stranger. 

“We can’t be friends / But I’d like to just pretend / You cling to your papers and pens / Wait until you like me again.” A personal reflection of realizing you must let go of something you have been grasping to, “we can’t be friends (wait for your love)” is the masterpiece of the album. With beautiful lyrics, production and vocals; the song will have you dancing as tears gently fall from your eyes. 

While there are plenty of sad songs on “eternal sunshine” don’t get it twisted; Grande is still the hitmaker she has always been. The lead single, “yes, and?” is a fun house track about overcoming negativity. 

“supernatural” is a vibrant electro-hop beat, with Grande describing an all-consuming love as she sings “This love’s possessing me /  But I don’t mind at all / It’s like supernatural.”  

“the boy is mine” is a reimagining of the iconic Brandy and Monica 1998 single of the same name. The album’s eighth track is heavily influenced by 90’s R&B, with Grande delivering sultry vocals as she sings of a meant-to-be relationship. 

“eternal sunshine” is Grande’s most genre-spanning album. There is synth-pop, dance-pop, R&B, and trap; there is even a hint of folk in “imperfect for you.” All the producers of this album exemplified why they are masters at their craft. Even Grande got to show she is not just a great vocalist, but a talented producer. 

The last song on the album is “ordinary things (feat. Nonna).” “Nonna” is Grande’s grandmother, Marjorie Grande, and the only feature on the album.

Nonna closes out the album as she offers relationship advice: “Never go to bed without kissing’ goodnight. That’s the worst thing to do. And if you can’t, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you’re in the wrong place. Get out,” says Nonna, seemingly answering the question her granddaughter asked at the beginning. Grande starts “eternal sunshine” with a question and ends it with an answer, and in between, she grows, learns, and reflects as she welcomes an unexpected chapter in her life.

“eternal sunshine” is cinematic; it tells a bittersweet story. It is transcendent and is Grande’s most thoughtful album to date. The lyrics are fresh, mature, and elevated. The musical production is captivating; offering various genres sure to appease anyone’s music taste. Over ten years into her career, we have never seen Grande like this before. She’s heading into a new journey, and she’s taking us with her. 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. cherie Friedman

    Love the album. So proud of her. It’s beautiful, raw and powerful.

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