Ariana Grande | Thank U, Next


Family Average: 4/7

Welcome back to another episode of the NEXT BUS. This week features Ariana Grande and her latest single “Thank U, Next”. The family puts in their two cents on the matter, with the help of a few special guests. Our cousin Matt is back with another review, as well as Kevin’s friend Roger.

Listen along to Ariana’s song on Spotify (if you weren’t already) and hear what we had to say:


My first impression was “wow this song is incredibly pop-y”. Yet not in a bad way, that’s just what it is.

It reminded me, especially in the verses, of some classic mid-90s Mariah Carey on Daydream type R&B. Just powerful female vocals with a fairytale bubbly beat. 

For the lyrics, I feel like because everyone cannot seem to stop talking about Ariana’s personal business she was like “I’m gonna lay it all out there from my perspective.” I thought that was cool of her. 

My whole life I have honestly never listened to or paid much attention to Ariana Grande, but I have grown to respect her as a person because I think her head is in the right place, and in terms of her art, she is an undeniably talented vocalist.

The only criticism I could say is that the lyrics were pretty basic, but I think she was aware of that and just needed to get this song out to the world.  



The big OG, AG (Ariana Grande), some have even referred to her as the "heart and soul of our generation" and that is a direct quote. It begs the question, is there anyone more vocally talented than this starlet? If there are, they are far and few between. Needless to say, I'm a fan of Ariana. Now that we got that out of the way and I clearly articulated how unbiased I am, let's about "Thank u, next". The first time I listened to this song, I wasn't sure what to think. The beat is catchy, the lyrics interesting, relatable, yet I couldn't quite tell if this was something I would actively listen to. So as any good person who is writing a song review should do, I listened to it on repeat again and again to figure it out.

Through my research, I discovered the bubbly tones mixed with the rather harsh lyrics describing lovers passed to be quite an enjoyable juxtaposition, almost like a combination of bubble gum and knives. A tale of heartbreak but the realization that you're better for having experienced it, what's not to love? Couple this with the self confidence that exudes from the song, it's a fun ride. Overall, I like the song. It's catchy, relatable, funny, and has a good message. I think that the vocal range could have pushed a little bit more given how talented she is but at the end of the day it's a breakup song with a funky beat and it gets the job done. Favorite line: "I'm so fucking grateful for my ex"


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It's not really even catchy. No thank you. I don't want a next. Especially not from you … but who can hate on those pitch bended 808s, Boooom-Boooom-WOOOH.

Heh. Next time just release the instrumental.



Another Dad Disclaimer: I am not a fan of this type of music, no not a fan at all.

This track sounded a lot like a girl band version of a boy band. I know a lot of folks will find this to be a catchy little tune; I am sure it has mass appeal among younger peeps. For me, however, I found it monotonous and almost annoying; she kept repeating the same phrase over and over again, about a next or an ex.  

Musically, there was nothing there for me here either. I admit she has a great voice but it did not speak to me. I seem to be set in my ways, and while I am trying to broaden my listening in my opinion, this one should be left in the bubble gum machine.



It’s a solid song, but not enough substance to keep me particularly invested. She has a nice voice, and I could get the message of the song clearly enough. The beat serves its purpose as accompaniment, but it’s nothing more or less. It’s not bad, but I could take it or leave it.



Impressed by her voice, bored of her tabloid presence, I'm a pretty indifferent Ariana Grande fan. That being said, she's got an elegance and a whole lot of sass, and that comes straight through with this post-breakup single. Look up the whole BDE theory thing—this song is dripping with it. With her usual immaculate vocals, Grande has given us a graceful ode to relationships past, thanking her various beaus for helping her self-growth. Dropping names can get messy pretty fast, but this holds as a girl-power-y, self-lovey, "I'm gonna-take-the-high-road" anthem. It solidifies her place as a powerful player both in her life and the industry. As the kids say, it's a "mood."



Listen, Ariana Grande is bratty diva and I usually would avoid her music if my sister wasn't obsessed with her, or if Kevin didn't send this to me to review. Still, you can't deny she's got one helluva voice.

For the most part, I enjoy her vocals, she kills it—and I like how she harmonizes with herself throughout the song. But that and the bass heavy beat are the only things I enjoyed in this cash-grab single. Other than that, it's a generic pop song with airy vocals and no substance clinging on relevancy of her breakup. Thank u, next.



Well okay here we are. I am seriously banking on someone else mentioning the inspiration of this song so I don’t have to labor over typing out the gossip. Basically these two (Ariana and Pete Davidson) split like a fat man’s pants. I am pretty indifferent about the whole situation. This is a song though and a song I can lend my opinion on.

Ariana Grande delivers to us a little glimpse into her process in dealing with the end of a relationship, and learning to grow from the experience to help make herself a better person. There is a good message in here especially for anybody looking for a healthy way to move on.

As far as the music is concerned it falls …flat, PANCAKE FLAT BABY! I had to listen to it three or four times even then as soon as it stopped I could not even remember the chorus. It comes off a little rushed, and unimaginative. Probably because she had to release the song while the media frenzy was at its peak.

There have been tons of songs written about breakups, and so many of them just do it better. In a half month or so when people forget about the tabloid drama I doubt this song will hold any relevance aside from a slot on a great 2010’s throwback playlist.  



I'll be honest with you, I didn't even know Ariana Grande dated any of these guys except for Pete Davidson. Perhaps I've grown that much out of the loop! Ah well.

In terms of pop songs I felt myself bopping along to it more than most other chart toppers I've heard this year. And I like the idea of recognizing that all exes that you've had have taught you something. Just because it didn't ultimately work out doesn't mean you didn't love them or regret what you got out of the relationship. I try to remind myself of this too. But then "thank u, next" over and over? Eh, idk if thats Ariana trying to make fun of herself or light of the situations. 

Overall, being grateful for my exes? Sure. Listening to this song again? Idk probably not haha.



I had not really been a big fan of Ariana Grande. I saw her as a Nickelodeon star turned singer. But this song gives me a different perspective on her. She has obviously been in a number of high profile relationships and one of her "exes" has died. That's a lot to deal with and she does so quite beautifully here. If she is going to therapy to figure out how to deal with her life, it's working.

In “Thank U, Next” she is expressing all the emotions she is dealing with. She's decided this will make her better, not perfect, but better. You could say the revelation she has here makes her wise beyond her years, but she is a millennial and I think as a group they all are. Listening to this I kept thinking this is her “Beyonce moment”. She's having complicated thoughts and she is totally able to convey them through her music. I give it.


Sean Maldjian