On Nov. 3, Ariana Grande dropped the first hints about her upcoming fifth studio album to her fans via Twitter. Grande is very vocal on social media about what she’s up to, and keeps her fans in the loop while also interacting with them regularly. One of the first bits of information that she shared included the name of her first single (and the album itself): “Thank U, Next.” Everything we know about Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande can be found on her Twitter. After the single dropped, there has been a whirlwind of outpouring of love from all corners, for the song itself and also for Grande (of course).
Sweetener, Grande’s last album, was released on Aug. 17, and it became a massive success. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, and by Sept. 1, nine out of the 15 songs were on the Billboard Hot 100. Even though that was only a little over two months ago, Grande has been in the studio, working on another album. This is different than her regular pattern; her first two (Yours Truly and My Everything) came out about a year apart, and the last two (Dangerous Woman and Sweetener) were the same as well.
Of course, there’s no complaining coming from her fans, as the immensely positive reaction to her single, “Thank U, Next” demonstrates. But what do we know about her next album as a whole? Thankfully, there are plenty of hints on her Twitter.
Earlier in the day — before dropping the single itself — Ariana Grande answered a fan who asked if “Thank U, Next” would be the album or single. The singer replied, “issa song and an album …. you’ll get the song first.”
Despite “Thank U, Next” being the first single off her fifth album, fans heard a teaser from a different song that she posted on her social media Oct. 4. The clip is of a darkened studio, and a track playing in the background. It opens with, “Passionate but I don’t give no f*cks, I admit that I’m a little messed up,” and has what sounds like very limited background instrumentation. There’s also some gorgeous harmonizing going on. The title, according to MTV, is “Needy,” which makes sense, since the chorus is, “I can be needy, Way too damn needy/I can be needy/Tell me how good it feels to be needed.” Grande is not skimping on the vocals, with this album.
In addition to that snippet, Grande also posted a pic of herself in the studio, showing that she’s been working on Thank U, Next since almost right after Sweetener.
When asked by paparazzi, “Are we getting another album before the end of the year?” Grande responded with a “Yes!” With the release of the first single debuting the first weekend of November, there’s only a limited amount of time before we ring in 2019. A release date of sometime in December is looking pretty good, although nothing has been confirmed yet.
A few fans have mentioned the notion of “eras,” which can be described as different moods or points in a musicians career, often defined by each album release. So some fans have said they’re excited for Thank U, Next, but they feel like they haven’t basked in the glow of Sweetener enough. Grande let them know that she’s going to drop things when they’re “freshhh” and just “make music” as it happens.
And despite the Sweetener World Tour including that album along with this yet-to-be-released one, Grande confirmed that Thank U, Next is not an Act II to the August album. It stands alone, by itself, despite being combined in this upcoming tour.
Despite a few of her albums having an intro of some sort — Sweetener‘s was “Raindrops (An Angel Cried)” — Thank U, Next will go straight into the first track.
And while it may be different than Grande’s usual style, she promises that “this’ll be your favorite track one.” The tease of it all!
And if you were wondering where “Thank U, Next” comes in on her album, it’ll be the very last song.
On top of “Thank U, Next” being the last song, thanks to a screenshot from Grande herself, it seems there will be 12 songs total, if nothing changes as of now. According to the iTunes file on Grande’s Twitter, the album is jokingly called ag5 lmao, but we now know it’ll be titled Thank U, Next.
Grande has done a ton of collaborations, on and outside of her albums, including three on her most recent album. When asked by a fan if there would be any this time around, Grande said “no not this one.”
The single “Thank U, Next” is a whole self-love track. She’s saying “Thank U, Next” to all of her exes, but in addition, all of her experiences with them made her the woman she is today. One line, which is a game changer in the song, is: “Plus, I met someone else, we havin’ better discussions… this one gon’ last, ’cause her name is Ari, and I’m so good with that.”
She tweeted out this new album is a whole different “energy” than a past fave, “Knew Better,” where she talks about an ex that did not meet her standards.
“Thank U, Next” is a new breakup anthem all about being grateful for all that she’s experienced, all the loves she’s gained and lost, and how it’s really helped her grow as a person, and how she’ll be better off in the long run. If the rest of the album follows that theme then we’re all in for a long love-affair with Grande.