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Don’t call it a comeback

Ariana Grande’s new album broken down in its core messages

After years of waiting for new music, Ariana Grande fans rejoiced with her new album, “eternal sunshine.” This phrase is a metaphor for ongoing peace and happiness, symbolizing Grande reinventing herself in this work in self-discovery and empowerment. While the tracks include themes of love, heartbreak and complex relationship(s), listeners see a new side of Grande seeking independence with a “be your own best friend” mentality.

After going through a highly-publicized divorce while away from the studio, her album, inspired by the Jim Carrey movie of the same title, expresses her path to tranquility and finding stability in her private life. I categorize the album into three sections: her still-existing love for her ex, moving forward and her message to the public.

Evidently, Grande’s feelings for this person have not dissipated as described in songs such as “supernatural”, “we can’t be friends (wait for your love)” and “ordinary things”. The ideas portrayed in these explain how every moment together was special and how she is still waiting for their love to rejuvenate, not friendship. At times, Grande painted their relationship as perfect, saying “the stars, they aligned” and “I don’t need no diamonds, just your time”. Though a collection built on conflict and independence, Grande did not hesitate to acknowledge and elucidate the flawless times they shared.

Letting go of the past and respecting/appreciating herself is the essence of the songs “bye”, “eternal sunshine” (title track) and “true story”. Refusing to receive less than you deserve was the message Grande expressed to her audience. She took control of her own life while exposing the lies and mistreatment she was putting in her past. To get to this state of clarity, she had to discover what her relationship meant to her and what effects it came with. The differing feelings of love and resentment helped her realize that she is stronger as an independent figure than in a non-functioning relationship.

Grande makes her message to the media clear: criticisms hold no weight on her. With the public commenting/interfering with her privacy, image and love life, Grande plays into these annoyances with her lead single, “yes, and?”. The song drawing comparisons to Madonna’s “Vogue,” she tells everyone “your business is yours and mine is mine” and “don’t comment on my body.” Escaping the album’s recurring themes of love, Grande says a piece of her mind that listeners rarely see artists do. Adding to that, in “true story”, she says “I’ll play the villain if you need me to,” referring to the propaganda-like portrayal of her relationships. A new sense of confidence is found within Grande as she will not be brought down by others.

Both musically entertaining and efficacious lyrically, “eternal sunshine” is a strong comeback album for Grande. While she was not vocally challenged within the range of the pieces, her message was successfully met and the upbeat feel of the songs make them easy and enjoyable to listen to. I would recommend this short but sweet (35-minute) album to anyone who is looking for a sense of self-respect, independence, or simply wants something new to hear.

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About the Contributor
Isaac Brenner '26
Isaac Brenner '26, Copy Editor
Issac Brenner ’26, first year copy editor, is a member of both the Junior Varsity football and baseball team.“I’m really excited to write actual news stories for a newspaper and things that are happening and really interested in learning more about Journalism as a whole,” Brenner said. Outside of journalism, Brenner likes to spend the majority of his time playing baseball. This year will be his second year on South’s baseball team as well as his eighth year participating in baseball. Outside of his high school season Brenner is on a travel time called the Grosse Pointe Redbirds.“I love the mental aspect of the game,” Brenner said. “Most sports are about physical dominance but baseball is about being mentally tougher. Every pitch is a constant competition with yourself and I love winning those battles,” Brenner said.Brenner describes himself as driven. Driven to succeed in tower, and driven to succeed in baseball. “ I describe myself as driven because I am ready to do whatever it takes for Tower”.

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