The Atlantic

Ariana Grande Tells the Cold Truth on Thank U, Next

The pop star’s second album in six months rewrites mushy cliché with a sharp personal edge.
Source: Chris Pizzello / AP

Courtesy of Ariana Grande, here’s a new breakup phrase to fear: “Don’t want you in my bloodline.” Yes, the 25-year-old singer has thought ahead to the far-off century when she is but a leaf on Ancestry.com. She has determined the desired height and hair-shininess of the future influencers who will call her nonna. Your genome, sir, has been sequenced and found wanting. Take your trash DNA and go.

What a reversal. Grande’s bubblegum used to peddle true love and) and awful realities (like ) have been polished into tales of uplift. The starkly beautiful “No Tears Left to Cry” could well have been her last word on trauma. But only six months after the confetti-strewn therapy session of , a fresh Grande album tends to new wounds while insisting, per one chorus, “Fuck a fake smile.” , brittle and biting, could be called .

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