Ariana Grande’s Breakup Track Is a Great Send-Off to This Big, Exhausting Week

“Thank u, next!”

Ariana Grande/Twitter

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

This week: “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande (Republic Records, 2018)

Why we’re into it: Beyond being one of the most beloved tracks of the week, Grande’s breakup song is the perfect sendoff to the Republican-controlled House and this news-drenched week.

A surprise drop last weekend, “thank u, next” is Ariana’s letter to herself—about growth, regret, and moving onto bigger and better things.

Here’s the soapy backstory: Grande recently split from her fiancé, Saturday Night Live‘s Pete Davidson, who later joked about the failed engagement, prompting tweets from Grande that, in turn, alerted fans to an upcoming album; its lead single, “thank u, next,” was then released an hour before Davidson’s appearance on SNL on Saturday night. Ouch.

But enough drama—let’s get to the song. Grande opens with a bang, offering intimate details by way of naming her exes. But instead of calling them out for their bad deeds like oh-so-many tired breakup songs before her, she offers gratitude and self-affirmation: “Even almost got married/And for Pete, I’m so thankful.”

The pre-chorus starts with the lyrics, “One taught me love/One taught me patience/And one taught me pain” against a relaxed beat. Rather than indulging in a revenge fantasy, Grande soars above it all. Then she puts herself centerstage: “She taught me love/She taught me patience/How she handles pain.” Grande closes the tune with, “I’m so fuckin’ grateful for my ex/Thank you, next.”

On full display here is Grande’s vocal command, which infuses even her poppiest tracks with emotional clarity and depth. If her upcoming album—the second in under a year—is anything like this track, there’s a lot to look forward to.

And, to top it all off, the song became a viral hit, launching the internet into full-blown meme mode:

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest