Ariana Grande may not be attending this weekend's Grammys because of a beef with the award show's producers, but she's still managing to dominate the headlines with a new video and album.
Just six months after the release of her previous album, Sweetener, the pint-sized pop star has released her latest full-length album -- and critics are raving about it. Check out some of the reviews thank u, next is garnering:
"A lesser artist's music might have been overshadowed by the tabloid frenzy, but Grande has met each event with her most self-assured, fully formed, and downright irresistible music to date." –Madison Vain, Esquire
"Arriving less than six months after Sweetener, thank u, next could have felt hurried, a dashed-off cash-in to secure Grande’s status as the world’s biggest pop star. Instead, the braggadocious, ice-cold low point 7 Rings aside, it feels more cohesive, the result of a burst of creativity and a prevailing mood as opposed to Sweetener’s crude split down the middle between Pharrell’s trademark sinewy sound and the more pop leanings of Max Martin and his team. While here the production is shared between the likes of Martin, Tommy Brown and Happy Perez, there’s a through line sonically – a kind of off-kilter, metallic eeriness – that ties it together." –Michael Cragg, The Guardian
"This is a slick, punchy album from a star at the top of her pop game." –Will Hodgkinson, The Times
"Grande has quickly developed into an artist who’s internalized the need to satiate her audience as often as possible, but in effect, it hasn’t dimmed her abilities to push herself more creatively. It’s something that her peers haven’t reconciled: creating in the public eye, and creating as freely and honestly as you can, without abandoning the fundamentals of the pop hallmarks that define the artist you’ve become. It’s why Grande has only continued to blossom into one of pop’s most compelling artists, and why “Thank U, Next” stands as what promises to be one of the best pop releases this year." –Steven J. Horowitz, Variety
"Thank U, Next is easily Grande's most sonically consistent effort to date, even if that means some of the album’s sleek R&B tracks tend to blur together." –Sal Cinquemani, Slant
"A deeply personal 12 track mix of songs that swing from the assertive bravado of “7 Rings” to more vulnerable reflections on love and loss on “Imagine” and “Ghostin”, listening to Thank U, Next can at times feel like peering inside Grande’s diary. While last year’s Sweetener attempted to drown out the tragedies she’d faced in her life with optimism, Thank U, Next accepts the pain and lays it all bare: “And I won't say I'm feeling fine, After what I been through, I can’t lie,” she sings on “Fake Smile”. Credited as a writer on every song, alongside the likes of Max Martin and Tommy Brown, the album plays as her most authentic work yet." –Olive Pometsey, GQ
"Five albums and six years into her music career, Grande delivers her most cohesive and empowering album yet with thank u, next, which gives us a window into an artist at the peak of her powers and serves as much-needed therapy for all of us recovering from heartache." –Patrick Ryan, USA Today
"The album is packed with personal confessions for the fans – "Arianators" – to pick over. It lacks a centrepiece to match the arresting depth and space of Sweetener's "God Is A Woman", but Grande handles its shifting moods and cast of producers (including pop machines Max Martin and Tommy Brown) with engaging class and momentum." –Helen Brown, The Independent
Along with the new album, Grande also released the video for her single "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" -- which features a surprise twist at the end.