The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Review | New Ariana Grande album ‘Eternal Sunshine’ proves Grande is best when singing R&B

Grande’s eighth studio album was released Mar. 8.
Kevork Djansezian-USA TODAY
Mar 10, 2024; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ariana Grande at the 96th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 10, 2024.

Pop megastar Ariana Grande’s eighth studio album, “Eternal Sunshine” was released March 8 and follows the end of her relationship with her ex-husband Dalton Gomez. However, fans were expecting something different.

The album gained popularity and hype due to Grande’s recent controversies. Most people have heard about the relationship drama between her and her “Wicked” co-star, Ethan Slater. Their affair took social media by storm, on X, formerly known as Twitter, where many people heavily criticized Grande.

An X user wrote a post on Feb. 24 that read: “Me if there is a song about Ethan Slater on Eternal Sunshine,” along with a link to another tweet of a meme with a disapproving face.

Grande’s new album responds to some of the hate. In a few songs, she expresses her lack of attention to the criticism she’s received through repetition of the phrase: “Yes, and?”

The album was named after Michel Gondry’s 2004 movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, where a couple pays money to forget about each other and move on only to begin dating each other again after they forget about each other.

Grande’s album is about exactly this: trying to forget about her previous relationship as much as possible and move on, but continuously going back to this person.

The majority of the album was filled with sadness and heartbreak — and these were the best parts. Grande sang about her struggles, loneliness, and heartbreak. She questions this in the song “Position” with the lyric “Am I in the right relationship?”

The underlying theme of the album wasn’t responding to the hate but rather finding peace after her public divorce from Dalton Gomez. I like that the album focused on this rather than her new affair, as this topic was less controversial and more relatable to other people. Not a lot of people can or want to relate to an affair.

The vibe of the album is typical of Grande with her soft and soothing voice elevating each song on the track list, so those looking for a classic Grande album will love her voice in this.

Grande’s voice shines with the classic R&B vibe, which combined with her fast-tracked pop tunes, made listening to this album soothing. The R&B songs were some of the best ones on the album, as those are the most well-written and vulnerable.

The best songs from the album are “Don’t Wanna Break up Again,” “Saturn Returns Interlude”, and “We Can’t Be Friends.”

While fans may have been expecting an album about affairs, controversies, scandals, and cheating, they can still expect “Eternal Sunshine” to be a typical Ari product and, therefore, enjoyable.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Connolly
Sophia Connolly is a first-year honors student studying journalism and mass communications. She is interested in politics, community events and exploring unique perspectives. After college, she plans to go to law school or graduate school.