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Ariana Grande’s ‘Eternal Sunshine’ loses its shine

Despite+Grande+seemingly+putting+forth+her+best+effort+into+musical+innovation%2C+%E2%80%9CEternal+Sunshine%E2%80%9D+ultimately+fails+to+execute+an+emotional+tone+effectively.
Inaaya Yousuf
Despite Grande seemingly putting forth her best effort into musical innovation, “Eternal Sunshine” ultimately fails to execute an emotional tone effectively.

Following a 3-year hiatus after her previous studio album “Positions,” Ariana Grande broke the pop scene open with the release of her hit single “yes, and?’ on Jan. 12. The single would serve as a precursor to her seventh studio album, “Eternal Sunshine,” which was released on March 8. Through 13 tracks, Grande depicts her perspective on her recent divorce and explores ideas of grief, maturation and regret. However, despite Grande seemingly putting forth her best effort into musical innovation, “Eternal Sunshine” ultimately fails to execute an emotional tone effectively.

The base version of “Eternal Sunshine” debuted with 13 new songs, including its first single, “yes, and?” and its second single, “we can’t be friends (wait for your love).” The album’s base version features no other artists and displays her head leaning on another version of herself on the album cover, highlighting Grande’s intention of crafting a more personal and intimate musical experience. However, the “slightly deluxe” version of the album features artist collaborations in the additional two remixes of the album’s tracks, along with two solo remixes of other tracks.

Grande’s lyricism shines as the standout characteristic of this album, with deeply introspective lyrics on tracks such as “true story” and “I wish i hated you,” reflecting on Grande’s conflicted state of mind and attempts to reconcile her past failed relationships. Through this improved lyricism, Grande reveals that she has evolved and matured into an artist concerned with the complexities of her personal and intimate relationships. However, the album’s production fails to match the quality of the effective songwriting, with instrumentals derived from basic pop inspirations that evoked minimal musical intrigue.

Characterized by a mix of traditional pop and R&B influences with the motif of string instrument elements, the album follows a narrative through notable tracks including “don’t wanna break up again” and “imperfect for you.” These songs depict not only Grande’s grief over the destruction of her past relationship but also her hopefulness in her future relationships. Despite her intention of creating an intimate tone, however, the conflicting sequencing and production in songs such as “supernatural” in attempts to appeal to a wider audience of the pop genre create musical inconsistencies in the presentation of this message.

While many long-time followers of Grande anticipated an exciting extended version of the album in its deluxe release, the “slightly deluxe” version of the album fails to include any more unique or notable content beyond a few instrumental and feature remixes, appearing as a simple cash-grab rather than providing any meaningful content to the audience. The oversaturated rollout of “yes, and?” in its release with 12 slightly different versions serves only to exemplify Grande and her label’s prioritization of sales over quality.

“Eternal Sunshine” is a lyrical success but a musical disappointment. While the lyricism and overall song quality has improved over her last studio album, Grande’s production fails to live up to the expectations of her past music.

Overall rating: 2.5/5 stars

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About the Contributors
Riki Murase, Social Media Manager
(he/him) Riki is a senior and a second-year staffer as well as the social media and photography manager for the Epic. He enjoys reading, cooking, playing video games, lifting, and wrestling.
Inaaya Yousuf, Staffer
(she/her) Inaaya is a junior and this is her second year as an Epic staff member. Outside of school, she loves reading, writing, and watching Formula 1.

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