Eternal Sunshine Allows Ariana Grande to Shine: An Album Review

Ariana Grande has had a busy year, from a public divorce and an even more public new relationship to a major role in a movie that has been the focus of her life for the past two years. With all this going on, no one was expecting an album so soon. Yet through all this, she announced an album early this year and soon released the first single β€œyes, and?” along with its music video. A mix of house and pop introduced the world to Eternal Sunshine for the first time and set the stage for a new era.

The album is inspired by the 2004 romance/sci-fi film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which explores the pain of a rough breakup after both parties involved decide to undergo a procedure to completely forget about each other, and therefore forget about the person they loved and spent a lot of time with. Grande explores this theme throughout the album, specifically within the sense of not wanting to forget about the person, understanding that the relationship was a part of her life that led her to where she is today and how that ex will always be her β€œeternal sunshine”, as mentioned in the title track β€œeternal sunshine”. 

Grande uses a mix of pop and R&B (with the occasional house and dance-inspired tracks) to tell the story of breaking up, healing, moving on, and being happy. Songs like the disco-inspired β€œbye” or the R&B track β€œtrue story” focus on Grande saying goodbye to an ex and focusing on moving on and doing better. On the other hand, there are tracks like β€œintro”, β€œdon’t wanna break up again”, β€œwe can’t be friends”, and β€œi wish i hated you” that reminisce about the relationship. While they clearly show that she has moved on, it also shows the pain she went through and how that’s something that she still reminisces about now. 

A large chunk of this album is about the end of a relationship, but scattered throughout are glimmers of hope, songs about moving on, and songs about loving someone, specifically someone new. Pop songs like β€œsupernatural” and β€œordinary things”, an R&B track like ”the boy is mine”, and a slow melodic song like β€œimperfect for you” showcase this perfectly. Amidst the turmoil and aftermath of a breakup is this new love blooming and beginning to take over her. This mixture of sadness and happiness creates the perfect blend of life in this project, and it has something that everyone can relate to. The album comes to a close with a voice memo of Grande’s grandmother saying β€œnever go to bed without kissin’ goodnight…and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you’re in the wrong place, get out” bringing the album to a perfect ending that truly gets its message across.Β 

Overall this album is one of her best. Every song has a purpose, and it’s produced perfectly without being overworked or underworked. The tracks flow perfectly in terms of sound and meaning, and everything just sounds so incredibly cohesive. This album can be listened to from beginning to end countless, or in better words, an eternal amount of times.