Ariana Grande’s album ‘Eternal Sunshine’ is eternally a banger

The year 2024 is a grand one for Ariana Grande. Freshly into her 30s and freshly divorced, the pop star dropped her freshest album in four years last week titled, “Eternal Sunshine.” 

Since her previous Album “Positions,” Grande has switched to new positions on love, loss and discovering her next chapter. The album, including a list of 13 tracks, navigates her journey of heartbreak and healing while finding her sunshine. 

Her lyrics are heartfelt and dainty, compatible with her powerful vocals and range. To top it off, Grande collaborated with talented competitors in the industry — Mariah Carey and Troy Sivan — as well as her own grandmother she calls, “Nonnie.” 

The album was released March 8, coincidentally falling on National Women’s Day. As Grande embodies her feminine resilience through this album, she highlights the capability of women during the day and month of our recognition. 

“Eternal Sunshine” refers to the film, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” according to Genius. Jim Carrey, a friend of Grande, starred in the 2004 film about a couple who erased their memories of one another after a breakup; the title may sound romantic, but it’s heart wrenching — similarly to how Grande may have been feeling while writing the album after her split from Dalton Gomez in October. 

One of my favorite songs on the album, “I wish I hated you,” may hint at certain feelings following the breakup. The instrumental is light and simple, leaving the focus on the emotion in her voice. The song is bittersweet as it expresses a lack of animosity toward a former lover; she wants to wish him the worst, she can’t help but wish him the best. Grande sings, “Hoping life brings you no new pain,” acknowledging there was pain in the relationship, but she hopes they can find one another without it. 

Grande has her sweet side, but she also brings out her sass in, “Bye.” The song is upbeat and catchy, while waving a respectful goodbye to an ex. Much like in her song, “Thank You, Next,” this song describes a bittersweet end to a relationship while connecting with herself again, signified through the lyrics, “Bye-bye. I’m takin’ what’s mine.” 

Grande’s ninth track, “Yes, and?” is her most popular song, but her least popular with me. As she was caught in public scrutiny from her new relationship with “Wicked” co-star Ethan Slater, this song may exemplify Grande brushing off the haters and staying true to herself. The song itself may send out her intended message, but I simply didn’t enjoy the tune. The robotic beat paired with her monotone chorus gets stuck in your head, but not in a good way. 

The album’s namesake, “Eternal Sunshine,” is Grande’s nod to the referred film, wishing she could wipe the memories of her love with Gomez than have to face the pain of betrayal. She sings, “I showed you all my demons, all my lies, yet you played me like Atari.” Showing someone all the parts of you, worst ones included, yet being played like a game is relatable, and it’s told via a captivating melody, securing its spot as another personal favorite on her album. 

The last to be mentioned and my top song on the list, “Imperfect for You,” plays on the phrase, “I’m perfect for you,” hence its sharp, out of place notes in these words of the chorus. The song emphasizes the beauty of imperfection in a relationship, showcasing Grande’s songwriting skills. The song begins with her own perception of her imperfections, and ends alluding to her partner expressing the same insecurities, but finding comfort in each other. It’s imperfect, but perfect for me. 

As one of the biggest artists out there, Grande solidifies her top placement on the Billboard Charts with this album. It brings listeners on a sweet, whimsical journey while recognizing hurt, and although I feel for Grande’s painful end to her marriage, I’m grateful we got to hear this music because of it. 

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Singer-songwriter and actress Ariana Grande dropped her seventh studio album “Eternal Sunshine” on March 8 by Republic Records. (Courtesy Genius)

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