I Honestly Believe That Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” Is A Magical Spell
In a world that seems to make no sense anymore, I’ve been viewing things through a lens of magical realism. “Magical thinking,” bordering on delusion, is key to becoming a powerful sorcerer, which I am rather keen on. I guess I …do believe in magic. Why not? Sometimes there’s almost no other way to explain certain things. Certain things in this world that almost seem to defy any other explanation. Like… love?
I was only vaguely aware of Ariana Grande before this past summer, before she became famously and some might even say, *magically* attached to SNL cast member Pete Davidson. Theirs was a love that captivated the world! Or, at least, Generation Z. In a cynical world where everything that could go wrong, had, it was nice to have something so seemingly pure, passionate, and perfect. Their devotion and dedication to each other created a powerful force that gave us hope for once, instead of the despair that’s been ubiquitous since 2016.
We rooted for them to succeed, even when cracks appeared. Pete joked about sabotaging her birth control on SNL, we gritted our teeth and held our breath. Ari deserved better, but we still held out hope for their happiness.
I don’t know if I can count myself as a fan of Ariana’s music, but I’m certainly a fan of her after learning that she dumped him (those jokes were maybe a bit much?), refused to take him back after he pleaded, and then consistently took the high road even as he continued to exploit their relationship on SNL. Stay classy, Ari! What do you expect from the pop star who came to the bedsides of the victims of the Manchester bombing in the hospital?
So when she released “thank u, next” I had to listen to it. I count myself among those obsessed with Pete + Ari, of course I would have to hear her “diss track”!!! And…it’s not? It’s an ode to discovering one’s own power in being single.
Not only that, it’s CATCHY. The repetition of phrases is almost like an incantation, like every time you say “thank u, next” you become stronger. Like every time someone makes a meme about “one taught me love…”, you gain serenity. Every time you bop to the song on the subway platform, it’s like Mederma™ for the scars of your past relationships.
Is this a power ballad? It’s powerful. Is it a power… bop? That’s probably a closer description. At least the song is a smash, Ariana.
photo of Ariana Grande via Flickr