Harry Tafoya

Photo Provided by Harry Tafoya

Ariana Grande’s new album, “eternal sunshine” is surprisingly good after subpar “Positions”

Katherine Rosa 


Staff Writer 


Ariana Grande’s newest release, “eternal sunshine” is a surprisingly good comeback from her subpar “Positions” (2020). In this much anticipated response to her recent controversy, Grande chooses to shrug off the criticism and embrace herself, flaws and all. 

The album feels a bit more experimental than its predecessor. “eternal sunshine” drops the hip-hop and track beats that have come to be associated with her work, opting for a more mellow sound accompanied with strings. In terms of tempo, we’re left wanting a little bit more, with every song following the same pace of soft and slow, delicate pop. Still, the sound shows growth from her last album in 2020. It has a very dramatic flare, feeling oddly reminiscent of her musical theater roots. 

One of the strongest aspects is the lyricism, which gets somewhat masked behind Grande’s often unclear enunciation. Her words aren’t anything deeply poetic or profound, in fact they’re even a bit juvenile at times, but they are honest and provide powerful insight into the workings of Grande’s mind. The album grapples with the anxiety and misery of giving up on one relationship, while also depicting the redemption she feels she’s found in her new one. Most importantly, she focuses on her own self-growth and self-love. 

She does not seem to acknowledge the accusations that she homewrecked another marriage, but she does criticize how quick the media was to make these assumptions about her in track 7, ‘true story’. In this song, she argues that all the rumors about her are fabrications and lies, but that she doesn’t have the energy to care anymore. “You got too much time / For fun, you like to pray for my demise / But I’ll play whatever part you need me to / And I’ll be good in it too.” 

This all plays into one of the biggest themes of “eternal sunshine”: Live your life, and screw what anyone else has to say. This is the focus of the album’s lead single, “yes, and?” This track emphasizes that no one has any real clue what anyone else is dealing with, so shrug off all the hate and be your own support system. It’s the same premise behind the album cover, where Ariana is pictured leaning on herself. 

Grande’s “eternal sunshine” is a promising comeback from a low point in her career. Not only experimenting with her sound, she’s finally experimenting with the ability to storytell with her music. This could be a gamechanger, because despite her incredible ability to dance, sing, act and compose, she’s never been known as a strong writer or lyricist. The story is something all of her previous albums have lacked, yet wound up being the most enticing part of this one. If she were to continue in this direction, it might solidify her place as one of the great talents of this generation.