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The Shield

University of Southern Indiana's student publication | USI | student newspaper

The Shield

University of Southern Indiana's student publication | USI | student newspaper

The Shield

Amid controversy, ‘eternal sunshine’ is unique to Ariana Grande’s usual style

Review of Ariana Grande’s seventh album, ‘eternal sunshine’
Photo courtesy of Republic Records
“eternal sunshine,” released March 8, is the seventh album by pop vocalist Ariana Grande. The album is 35 minutes long and consists of 13 songs.

“eternal sunshine,” released March 8, is the seventh studio album by pop artist Ariana Grande. Featuring 13 songs and a 35-minute running time, the album is currently No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart

The rollout of this album began with the lead single, “yes, and?” Released Jan. 12, this song was trending on TikTok, and people were either vibing to it or bringing up the alleged relationship scandal Grande is in and how the lyrics could relate to the controversy. 

Grande is allegedly in a relationship with Ethan Slater, her co-star in the upcoming “Wicked” musical movie. This relationship has received a lot of backlash on social media because of its suspicious timeline. 

On social media, Grande has been accused of breaking up Slater’s marriage and family through her relationship with him.

People on social media connected the song “yes, and?” to this controversy due to the lyrics of the song. Some of these lyrics include, “Your business is yours and mine is mine, Why do you care so much whose d— I ride?” 

Although the song “yes, and?” is unique to Grande in some ways, I do think it’s very similar to her other hits. It just sounds like another one of her songs that are played in the mall. 

(Courtesy of Ariana Grande)

The music video for “yes, and?” is a reference to Paula Abdul’s music video for “Cold Hearted,” and the song itself samples Madonna’s hit “Vogue,” which I think is cool of Grande to do. 

Whether or not the rumors are true, I think “eternal sunshine” should be listened to, critically or not, as separate from the alleged scandal and as the creative expression of music it is. 

When I heard of this album’s release, I wondered if Grande would directly address the hate she’s receiving, like she does in “yes, and?” throughout the rest of “eternal sunshine.” Overall, I only noticed a few moments in other songs where she seems to address the criticism, but none in a specific enough way to point to the alleged controversy.

Despite the controversy, I did enjoy listening to “eternal sunshine,” and I liked a lot of it. 

My favorite song on the album is “we can’t be friends (wait for your love).” I think this song and the album as a whole are among Grande’s most vulnerable creations. 

The lyrics that stuck with me from this song are “I don’t wanna feed this monstrous fire, Just wanna let this story die, And I’ll be alright,” “We can’t be friends, But I’d like to just pretend,” “Wait until you like me again” and “Wait for your love, Love, I’ll wait for your love.”

Even though I only know Grande’s most popular songs, I think the lyrics on this album  are some of her most broken, emotion-filled lyrics, compared to her previous album. I enjoy listening to good sad music, and this song has made that playlist for me. 

(Courtesy of Ariana Grande)

This song has sad lyrics but an upbeat sound. I always find it impressive when artists make a depressing song something you can jam out to. I think sometimes this aspect, present in this song, makes the experience of listening to the song more therapeutic. 

I especially enjoyed watching the music video for this song because of its reference to the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” In this movie, two individuals, who were together in a former relationship, separately go through a procedure to erase their memories of each other. In the “we can’t be friends (wait for your love)” music video, Peaches (Ariana Grande) emotionally goes through this procedure to forget the memories of her past relationship. 

This music video goes through several innocent memories of love between Peaches and her ex-boyfriend (Evan Peters) and shows them being replaced, leaving her alone in the memory. 

Toward the end of the music video, Peaches begins crying, not wanting to give up one of her memories, and begs the people doing the procedure to let her keep it. However, the memory is replaced like the others, and at the very end, Peaches and her ex walk by each other, each in a new relationship, and they don’t remember one another.  

This music video was also aesthetically interesting, showing the path of Peaches’ memories in her brain with the differing colors of scenes in the procedure room, an arcade, her room, outside in the snow, on a table with a cake with candles (I assume a reference to the movie “Sixteen Candles”) and in her living room. 

Another song I like on this album is “don’t wanna break up again.”

“eternal sunshine,” released March 8, is the seventh album by pop vocalist Ariana Grande. The album is 35 minutes and consists of 13 songs. ((Photo courtesy of Republic Records))

I enjoyed listening to this song because, similarly to “we can’t be friends (wait for your love),” it has emotionally-charged lyrics. Some of these lyrics include “I fall asleep crying, You turn up the TV, You don’t wanna hear me.

I also like “don’t wanna break up again” because it is a chill-sounding song. The song has relatively the same beat throughout it, and Grande performs several runs in her voice and hits a few short-length high notes.

One aspect of this album I found interesting was how connected some of the lyrics of several songs are. I enjoyed listening to “i wish i hated you” because of the connection with the lyrics “I rearrange my memories, I try to rewrite our life,” a reference to what Grande portrays in the “we can’t be friends (wait for your love)” music video. 

I also like “i wish i hated you” because you can hear the intense emotion in Grande’s voice in the song. At one point, you can hear her voice breaking, like she’s trying to stop herself from crying. 

While some of the moments in “eternal sunshine” are similar to Grande’s previous albums, many of the songs are my favorites of hers. Grande is a talented vocalist, and I think she did step out of her box in this album with her honesty and lyricism.

About the Contributor
Abigail Durham
Abigail Durham, Staff Writer
Abigail Durham, freshman undecided, was a Staff Writer for the 2022-2023 academic year. Durham joined The Shield in October 2022.  Durham was involved in the Dance Team on campus. Durham enjoys listening to music, watching TV and hanging out with friends. Durham likes sitcoms, romantic comedies, comedies. Her favorites are “La La Land,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Knives Out,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Friends,” “That 70’s Show,” “New Girl,” “Gilmore Girls,” “The Good Place” and “Jane the Virgin.”  “I like working for The Shield because I like contributing to coming up with ideas for content with teams and being able to know about and have an opinion on many aspects about campus,” Durham said.