With bubblegum hits flavored and remixed with a bit of trap and R&B and lyrics that are so thoughtfully and authentically written, it’s safe to say that Ariana Grande’s fifth studio album is better than Sweetener.
But which tracks got a YASS and which ones deserved a thank you, next? From the trap-infused 7 Rings all the way to the beautiful and sincere Ghostin, here’s a list of Thank U, Next songs ranked from Worst to First…
12. 7 Rings
Imma just say it – Ariana, honey, stay away from trap, rap and all things that don’t suit you. 7 Rings is ranked as the least best song on Thank U, Next simply because it doesn’t ring true to Ariana’s signature sound. Don’t get me wrong, Ari sounds fierce, confident and super sassy throughout, but the track does tend to get a little repetitive after a while. That said, we’re certain 7 Rings will still be blasting at every party in 2019. Thank you Ari, but, next.
11. Make Up
Just when you think Ariana is about to deliver yet another cutesy bubblegum pop hit, the dainty diva hits you with a few curse words and lets us know just how much she loves make up sex. Make Up shows off Ari’s sultry side and the wordplay is great (you’ve gotta love that Fenty Beauty shoutout) but as good a song that it is, it just doesn’t compare to its fellow tracks on the album.
10. Fake Smile
Fake Smile is without a doubt the realest and most honest track on Thank U, Next. Singing about her uncomfortable life in the public eye and having to fake a smile after everything she’s been through, Ariana truly lets her feelings out the bag in this mellow, R&B record. Oh and those Mariah-esque vocals are on point!
9. Bad Idea
Ariana might have taken us too way seriously when we said we needed some Rihanna music up in here. Bad Idea sounds like something straight out of RiRi’s Good Girl Gone Bad-era, wouldn’t you say? Speaking of, this is a track that showcases Ari’s newfound rebellious side. Singing about hanging out with someone to “numb the pain”, Bad Idea can only be about her ex-boyfriend, Ricky, who she reconciled with after breaking up with Pete Davidson.
8. Break up with your Girlfriend, I’m Bored
Ariana went IN with the R&B in the album’s closing track. Break up with your Girlfriend, I’m Bored is a slick and sexy banger that hears a confident and cheeky Ari that we’ve certainly never heard before. Just when you think the popstar is eager to steal a girl’s man, the video reveals that the entire song is actually about getting the girl instead. And no, this isn’t a lesbian anthem, BUWYG is actually a song about self-love. There’s a reason why the girl in the video looks just like Ariana – Ari was singing about breaking up with her very own boyfriend so she can love herself.
7. In My Head
There’s going to be several fans who will feel this song on a spiritual level. Clearly referencing her relationship with ex, Pete Davidson, Ariana explores trying to see the best in someone she loves although they’re not right for her. “Look at you, boy, I invented you” – damn, Ari went in and dragged Pete in this one. Regardless of the lyrics, In My Head is also quite the banger – it’ll certainly have us bopping our heads for the next few days.
You know a song is going to be good when it opens with Ariana’s adorable laugh. Bloodline is a dancehall-tinged track that once again hears the singer crooning about wanting someone she shouldn’t have. It’s edgy, modern and Ariana sounds hella sexy. In fact, all it’s missing is a fire verse from Nicki Minaj. Side by Side part 2, anyone?
Needy is a whole mood, y’all. Giving us total Sweetener vibes, every girl can relate to this dreamy, mellow track about needing emotional support and attention from a loved one. This might be the shortest and most minimal song on Thank U, Next but it’s one of our favorites.
Imagine is one of the very few tracks on Ari’s latest album that actually showcases her power vocals. With phenomenal whistle tones, flexible riffs and runs, and emotional lyrics that make you want to put your head in a pillow and cry, Imagine is a song that takes you straight to heaven and back.
The emotional, tender and hair-raising masterpiece that is Ghostin is certainly a standout moment on Thank U, Next. Ariana sings about how her former relationship with Pete Davidson was affected due to her grief over Mac Miller. Not only are there powerful lyrics like, “He just comes to visit me, When I’m dreaming every now and then” – Ghostin also happens to sample Mac’s track, 2009. Excuse us as we cry a bucket of tears. Thank you for sharing such a personal song with us, Ari.
Ariana is on a “space”-mission and we’re here to support it! Not only is NASA a great song about self-discovery, it’s also upbeat, refreshing and addictive, officially making it the second-best song on Thank U, Next. When it isn’t a ballad, this is the kind of sound we like to hear from Ariana – a truly catchy pop anthem. NASA is going to be on repeat and it’s already got a spot in our Favorites playlist.
1. Thank U, Next
It’s the ultimate break-up record of the year, it’s been turned into a meme, and it’s a delicious delivery of bubblegum pop – we knew Thank U, Next would still be the best song on Ariana’s fifth album without even hearing the rest – I mean, even her good friend, Justin Bieber shouted out the song! It’s not everyday we hear a break-up hit promoting self-love. Ariana is preaching girl-power and the joys of being single over a fun and upbeat rhythm that stays in your mind for hours later.
Although a far cry from her pop-filled Dangerous Woman days, Thank U, Next is an era that has helped Ariana unleash some hidden emotions and truly wear her heart on her sleeve. Her newfound badass attitude, along with the contemporary sleek sound has surely elevated little Ari to more Grande levels in music. We can’t wait to hear what else is to come.
What was your favorite and worst track on Thank U, Next? Let us know in the comments below…
Want more album rankings? Find out how we ranked every song on Positions!