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

“Thank u, next!”

Ariana Grande/Twitter

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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:

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It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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