Thank U- Next

Thank U, Next (stylized in all lowercase) is the fifth studio album by American singer Ariana Grande, released on February 8, 2019, by Republic Records. Following the release of her previous studio album Sweetener (2018), Grande began working on a new album in October of the same year, enlisting writers and producers such as Tommy Brown, Max Martin, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Andrew "Pop" Wansel. The album was created in the midst of personal matters, including the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and break up with fiancé Pete Davidson.

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Thank U, Next
Digital edition cover; the border is colored black instead of pink on the physical edition[1][2]
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 8, 2019 (2019-02-08)
RecordedOctober–December 2018[3][4]
Genre
Length41:11
LabelRepublic
Producer
Ariana Grande chronology
Sweetener
(2018)
Thank U, Next
(2019)
Singles from Thank U, Next
  1. "Thank U, Next"
    Released: November 3, 2018
  2. "7 Rings"
    Released: January 18, 2019
  3. "Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored"
    Released: February 8, 2019

Thank U, Next (stylized in all lowercase) is the fifth studio album by American singer Ariana Grande, released on February 8, 2019, by Republic Records.[7][8] Following the release of her previous studio album Sweetener (2018), Grande began working on a new album in October of the same year, enlisting writers and producers such as Tommy Brown, Max Martin, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Andrew "Pop" Wansel. The album was created in the midst of personal matters, including the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and break up with fiancé Pete Davidson.

The title track was released as the album's lead single on November 3, 2018, peaking atop of the charts of 12 countries and becoming Grande's first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100. The track also broke a string of records, including the record for the most plays in a single day by a female artist on Spotify. Its second single, "7 Rings", was released on January 18, 2019, peaking at number one in 15 countries and making Grande the third female artist to have two or more songs debuting atop of the Hot 100. "Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" was released as the third single on the day of the album's release. The track's debut atop of the UK Singles Chart made Grande the first female artist to replace herself at number one on the chart, dethroning her previous single. In support of both Sweetener and Thank U, Next, Grande will embark on the Sweetener World Tour, beginning in March 2019.

Upon its release, Thank U, Next received acclaim from music critics, many of whom praised the cohesiveness and production of the album. Commercially, the album peaked atop of the charts of countries like Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the latter, the album broke the record for the largest streaming week for a pop album, debuting with 360,000 album-equivalent units.

Background

In September 2018, Grande's ex-boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, died from a drug overdose. The following month, Grande announced that she would take a break from music.[9] That same month, however, Grande revealed that she had been in the studio working on new music, and she announced the Sweetener World Tour (2019). She stated that the tour would support both her fourth studio album, Sweetener (2018), and her upcoming fifth studio album.[10][11] Later in October 2018, Grande broke off her engagement with comedian Pete Davidson.[12]

Release and promotion

Thank U, Next was released worldwide on February 8, 2019, by Republic Records.[8] The album cover art, shot by Alfredo Flores, shows Grande laying upside-down on the floor with album title painted on her neck. The digital edition cover features a pink border, whilst the physical edition features a black border.[1][2] The title of the album was named after a phrase Grande and her friend Victoria Monét repeatedly use.[13]

Tour

On October 25, 2018, Grande officially announced the Sweetener World Tour, in promotion of both Thank U, Next and Sweetener (2018).[14] The tour is set to begin on March 18, 2019, with the first leg consisting of 50 shows across North America.[15] The second leg is set to begin on August 17, 2019, consisting of 26 shows across Europe.[16] Normani and Social House were announced as the opening acts for the North American dates of the tour.[17]

Singles

The album's title track was released as the lead single from Thank U, Next on November 3, 2018, without prior announcement.[18][19] Commercially, the single was a massive success, peaking at number-one of the charts of 12 countries and breaking a string of records, including the record for the most plays in a single day by a female artist on Spotify. The song also became Grande's first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100. She performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on November 7.[20] Its accompanying music video was released on November 30, which broke the records for both the most-watched music video in YouTube within 24 hours and the fastest Vevo video to reach 100 million views on YouTube.[21][22]

"7 Rings" was released as the second single on January 18, 2019.[23] The track was also commercially successful, peaking atop of the charts of 15 countries and making Grande the third female artist to have two or more songs debuting atop of the Hot 100. "7 Rings" also broke the record for the most streamed song in 24 hours on Spotify, receiving 14.9 million streams globally.[24] It received generally mixed reviews from music critics,[25][26][27] and was the center of plagiarism accusations from multiple artists.[28][29][30]

"Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" was released as the third single on February 8, 2019, the same day the album was released.[31] The song debuted atop of the charts in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In the latter, Grande became the first female artist to replace herself at number one on the chart, and joined only three other artists in having three chart-topping singles in under 100 days.[32] As the track became her fifth number-one single in Ireland, Grande now also holds the record for the most number ones in the 2010s decade on the chart, alongside Rihanna.[33] "Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Grande's 13th top ten single on the chart. With this single at number two, "7 Rings" at number one and "Thank U, Next" at number three, Grande became the first artist to monopolize the top three on the chart since The Beatles in 1964.[34]

Promotional singles

"Imagine" was released as the album's sole promotional single on December 14, 2018.[35] Grande performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on December 18.[36]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.0/10[37]
Metacritic86/100[38]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[5]
The A.V. ClubA−[39]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[40]
Exclaim!8/10[41]
The Guardian[42]
The Independent[43]
NME[44]
Pitchfork7.9/10[45]
Rolling Stone[46]
The Telegraph[47]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Thank U, Next has an average score of 86 based on 23 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[38] Many critics praised the cohesiveness and production of the album. Ross Horton from The Line of Best Fit praised both the songwriting and production of the album, stating that it is an "airtight, dense pop record with an obnoxiously brash production" and commenting that "even the most delicate, sensual things here are tightly compressed and scrubbed of anything resembling acoustics."[48] AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine also gave the album a positive review, commenting that "Grande is swaggering with [...] confidence" and concluding that the album "embodies every aspect of Ariana Grande, the grand pop star."[5] Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times said, "Thank U, Next flaunts Grande's emotional healing; it's suffused with the joy of discovering that what didn't kill her really did make her stronger."[49]

Michael Cragg of The Guardian commented that Thank U, Next seems to be a "result of a burst of creativity and a prevailing mood", yet criticized "7 Rings" as a "braggadocious, ice-cold low point" of the album. He concluded positively, stating that Grande is a "pop star [...] finally working out who they are and what they want to say" and compared the album to Rihanna's Anti.[42] Helen Brown from The Independent stated that that Grande is "embracing her inner mean girl (on the sexy "Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored") [and] owning her flaws and contradictions" on tracks such as "Needy" and "NASA", yet concluded that the album lacks enough "vocal grit".[43] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine awarded the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, believing that the album "is easily Grande's most sonically consistent effort to date". He criticized that "some of the [...] tracks tend to blur together", but ultimately concluded in saying that Grande's "refusal to fake a smile that proves to be what makes her so damn likeable."[50]

Commercial performance

In the United States, Thank U, Next debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 360,000 album-equivalent units, of which 116,000 were pure album sales. The album became Grande's fourth number-one album in the country, and broke the record for the largest streaming week ever for a pop album.[51] On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, issue dated February 20, all twelve songs from Thank U, Next appeared simultaneously. Eleven of these songs appeared in the top 40, breaking the record for the most simultaneous top 40 songs by a female artist.[52]

In the United Kingdom, Thank U, Next debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with 65,000 album-equivalent units. The album became Grande's third number-one on the chart and marked her largest album opening week to date there. Earning 59 million streams, Thank U, Next set a new record for most album streams ever by a female artist in a week in the country, beating her previous album, Sweetener (2018).[53] Following its release, "Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, replacing "7 Rings", while "Needy" debuted at number 8.[54] In Ireland, the album also became Grande's third number one on the Irish Albums Chart, outselling the rest of the top five combined. Upon its release, Thank U, Next became the only female album this decade to feature three Irish number-one singles. Following the success of the album, Sweetener (2018) arose three places to number 8, and Dangerous Woman (2016) re-entered the top fifty at number 43.[55]

In Australia, the album debuted at number one on the Australian Albums Chart, becoming Grande's fourth number one in the territory. All twelve album tracks also appeared on the ARIA Singles Chart, including nine debuts.[56]

Track listing

Thank U, Next[1]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Imagine"
3:32
2."Needy"Brown2:51
3."NASA"
  • Grande
  • Monét
  • Parx
  • Brown
  • Charles Anderson
  • Brown
  • Anderson
3:02
4."Bloodline"
  • Martin
  • Ilya
3:36
5."Fake Smile"
  • Pop Wansel
  • Happy Perez
3:28
6."Bad Idea"
  • Grande
  • Martin
  • Salmanzadeh
  • Kotecha
  • Martin
  • Ilya
4:27
7."Make Up"
  • Grande
  • Monét
  • Parx
  • Brown
  • Brian Malik Baptiste
  • Brown
  • Baptiste
2:20
8."Ghostin"
  • Grande
  • Martin
  • Salmanzadeh
  • Kotecha
  • Monét
  • Parx
  • Martin
  • Ilya
4:31
9."In My Head"
  • Wansel
  • Grande
  • Perez
  • Brittany "Chi" Coney
  • Denisia Andrews
  • Lindel Deon Nelson, Jr.
  • Roberts
  • Pop Wansel
  • Happy Perez
  • Nova Wav[a]
3:42
10."7 Rings"
  • Brown
  • Anderson
  • Foster
2:58
11."Thank U, Next"
  • Grande
  • Monét
  • Parx
  • Vitia
  • Krysiuk
  • Brown
  • Foster
  • Anderson
  • Brown
  • Foster
  • Anderson
3:27
12."Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored"
  • Martin
  • Ilya
3:10
Total length:41:11

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
  • All track titles are stylized in all lowercase, except "NASA".[1]

Samples

Personnel

Credits adapted from Tidal.[60]

Vocals

Instrumentation

  • Happy Perez – guitar (tracks 1, 5, 9), keyboards (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Pop Wansel – keyboards (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Peter Lee Johnson – strings (track 2)
  • Wojtek Bylund – alto saxophone (track 4)
  • Ilya Salmanzadeh – bass (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12), drums (tracks 4, 6, 12), guitar (tracks 4, 6, 8), keyboards (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12), string arrangement (track 6)
  • Janne Bjerger – trumpet (track 4)
  • Max Martin – bass (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12), drums (tracks 4, 6, 12), guitar (tracks 4, 6, 8), keyboards (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12), string arrangement (track 6)
  • Mattias Bylund – horns arrangement (track 4), strings (tracks 6, 8), string arrangement (track 6), violin (track 6)
  • Magnus Johannson – trumpet (track 4)
  • Peter Noos Johannson – trombone (track 4)
  • Tomas Johannson – tenor saxophone (track 4)
  • JProof – keyboards (tracks 5, 9)
  • David Bukovinszky – cello (tracks 6, 8)
  • Alexander West – guitar (track 7)
  • Larrance Dopson – guitar (track 7)
  • Mattias Johannson – violin (track 8)

Production

  • Ariana Grande – executive production, vocal production (all tracks)
  • Scooter Braun – executive production
  • Happy Perez – production (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Pop Wansel – production (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Tommy Brown – production (tracks 2–3, 7, 10–11)
  • Charles Anderson – production (tracks 3, 10–11)
  • Max Martin – production (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12), vocal production (track 8)
  • Ilya Salmanzadeh – production (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12), vocal production (track 8)
  • Brian Baptiste – production (track 7)
  • Michael Foster – production (tracks 10–11)
  • Victoria Monét – vocal production (tracks 2–3, 7–8, 10–11)
  • Tayla Parx – vocal production (tracks 2, 7)
  • Brittany Chi Coney – additional production (track 9)
  • Denisia Andrews – additional production (track 9)
  • Andrew Luftman – production coordination (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Sarah Shelton – production coordination (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Zvi Edelman – production coordination (tracks 1, 5, 9)

Technical

  • Happy Perez – programming (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Pop Wansel – programming (tracks 1, 5, 9)
  • Tommy Brown – programming (tracks 2–3, 10)
  • Charles Anderson – programming (tracks 3, 10)
  • Ilya Salmanzadeh – programming (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12)
  • Max Martin – programming (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12)
  • Michael Foster – programming (track 10)
  • John Hanes – mixing (tracks 1–3, 10), mixing assistance (tracks 4–9, 11–12)
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing (all tracks)
  • Billy Hickey – engineering (tracks 2, 3, 7, 10, 11)
  • Sam Holland – engineering (tracks 6, 8)
  • Brendan Morawski – recording (track 1), engineering (tracks 2, 3, 5, 7–11)
  • Joe Gallagher – recording (track 1), engineering (tracks 5, 9)
  • Sean Klein – recording assistance (tracks 1–3, 5, 7–8, 10, 11), remix engineering assistance (track 9)
  • Jeremy Lertola – recording assistance (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12)
  • Cory Bice – recording assistance (tracks 4, 6, 8, 12)

Charts

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[62] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[63] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[64] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[65] 3
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[66] 1
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[67] 1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[68] 1
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[69] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[70] 2
French Albums (SNEP)[71] 3
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[72] 3
Icelandic Albums (Tónlist)[73] 2
Irish Albums (IRMA)[74] 1
Italian Albums (FIMI)[75] 2
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[76] 12
Japanese Hot Albums (Billboard Japan)[77] 10
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[78] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[79] 1
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[80] 3
Scottish Albums (OCC)[81] 1
Slovak Albums (ČNS IFPI)[82] 2
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[83] 3
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[84] 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[85] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[86] 1
US Billboard 200[87] 1

Certifications

Region CertificationCertified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[88] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various February 8, 2019 Republic [89][90]
May 10, 2019 LP [91]

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