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TRACK BY TRACK: Ariana Grande's 'Eternal Sunshine'

Written by Ashley Parham. Published: March 13 2024


Ariana Grande just released her 7th album, Eternal Sunshine, and it is a whole mood! The title was inspired by the 2004 movie starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and is an emotionally vulnerable glimpse into Grande’s personal life, marking a new maturity and nuance for the 30-year-old singer. We’re here to give you a rundown of the album track by track!


1. "intro (end of the world)"

The album begins with a short introduction where Ariana wonders how to know if she is in the right relationship. She uses a softness in “intro (end of the world)” that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Despite only being a minute-and-a-half long, the song encompasses the themes of doubt in love that are present on later tracks.


Favorite lyrics: “If the sun refused to shine / Baby, would I still be your lover?”




2. "bye"

The beat picks up in “bye”. The song is repetitive, but it gets its point across in a catchy way. This song is a reflection on a past relationship in which Ariana has liberated herself from. She laments on how they tried to make things work, but ultimately it was in her best interest to leave. This song is perfect for anyone trying to come to terms with the end of a relationship. It may be hard, but sometimes you have to say “bye” in order to move forward. In healing, you can acknowledge the good and the bad, but you also have to know when to leave it behind.


Favorite lyrics: “Maybe someday we’ll look back with love / Didn’t think you’d lose me / Now it’s just too late to choose me…”




3. "don’t wanna break up again"

This ballad captures the emotions of recognizing the mutual hurt in a relationship that is breaking down. In “don’t wanna break up again”, Grande reflects on the pain of soldiering through a relationship that isn’t working, and she comes to terms with the fact that it needs to end. Relationships are complicated, and they can get messy. This song portrays that perfectly. Leaving a relationship can hurt both parties, but staying together when you know things are wrong is harmful as well. The acknowledgment of how bad things have become is an important step toward healing and moving forward, but it can be difficult to convince yourself to take the leap in the moment. The entire album is a retrospective look into a relationship that has ended, and this song captures the essence of the painful moments.


Favorite lyrics: “Hope you won’t, won’t regret me / Hope you’ll still think fondly of our little life…”




4. "Saturn Returns Interlude"

This interlude features the voice of Diana Garland, an astrological counselor who creates astrology-related content on YouTube. Grande samples a clip from a 2013 video Garland made regarding how life can change at the age of 29. Grande was 30 at the time of making this album, and, given the emotional processing the lyrics reflect, it makes sense she would find relatability in the video. Whether you are invested in astrology or not, the clip is a good reminder that who you are and the circumstances you are in will change. You can always discover a new version of yourself.


Favorite lyrics: “It’s time for you to get real about life and sort out who you really are…”




5. "eternal sunshine"

The title track is appropriately named. It is representative of the album as a whole body of work in terms of both sound and lyrics, and the movie reference highlights the song’s theme well. Grande discusses the actions that she and her ex took that lead to the end of their relationship, and at first she wishes to forget any of the events ever happened. By the end of the song, she has progressed to understanding that she can’t change the past and it is important to learn from past mistakes. It is a breakup song on a breakup album, but it doesn’t leave the listener feeling down. There is a sense of growth in the song, and Grande’s vocals are showcased in a way that captures your attention.


Favorite lyrics: “I found a good boy and he’s on my side / You’re just my eternal sunshine…”




6. "supernatural"

Grande’s breathy vocals are the star of this sensual track. She makes great use of her lower and upper vocal ranges, and the result is captivating. The lyrics are upfront. She wants everyone listening to know of the passion in her relationship. Even with the sexual references, the song has a level of sweetness. It is clear she is fully invested and in love, and the way in which she feels drawn to her lover is a high level of connection. This may be a breakup album, but Grande is a writer of great love songs as well, and “supernatural” is a reminder of that.


Favorite lyrics: “This love’s possessin’ me, but I don’t mind at all / It’s like supernatural…”




7. "true story"

“True story” is the setup of a bad girl anthem, which Ariana has clarified is not based on past experiences. The song uses strong vocals and sets of layered vocals to create a large effect. This adds into the intensity that comes with playing the villain. This song leads into “the boy is mine”, and both songs feature R&B-inspired instrumentals in addition to the connected lyrical content. The song also fits into the themes of “we can’t be friends (wait for your love)”, which is potentially about the ways in which the media villianizes successful women. The entire album is one of emotional storytelling, and this song plays into the wider narrative in a way that binds the varying themes.


Favorite lyrics: “See it in your eyes, you got too much time / For fun, you like to pray for my demise…”




8. "the boy is mine"

“The boy is mine” is a track reminiscent of '90s R&B-pop, much like the 1998 hit of the same name by Brady and Monica. Ariana proclaimed the song as a bad girl anthem, and it definitely is. The song features a blend of Grande’s breathy-toned vocals and her more powerful notes. This track is another sensual one, and it focuses on how things are working out for her to get together with her love interest. The song is catchy, and it will get stuck in your head. It is a good song to put on to hype yourself up when getting ready to go out and slay, whether you’re aiming to be your best self or not. Sometimes we all need a moment to fantasize about being a little bad, and Ariana gave it to us.


Favorite lyrics: “Something about him is made for somebody like me…”




9. "yes, and?"

“Yes, and?” served as the album’s lead single. The song is poppy and has a danceable beat. Ariana uses the title phrase as a form of empowerment. She emphasizes living in an authentic, unapologetic way and going about life without paying attention to the gossip. It is a bold lead single that encapsulates the album well. She addresses going through hard times and working to love herself, which are lyrical themes throughout the album. The chorus is catchy and makes a statement about how Grande is moving forward in spite of whatever the current media perception of her is. It’s a girlboss moment and a total bop. The music video for the single is a loving tribute to Paula Abdul's iconic 1988 video for "Cold Hearted".


Favorite lyrics: “I won’t hide / Underneath your own projections / Or change my most authentic life…”




10. "we can’t be friends (wait for your love)"

“We cant be friends (wait for your love)” is the longest song on the album and the second single. It starts softly and slowly but builds to a bright-toned pop chorus. The upbeat tone belies the lyrics; the song is heartbreaking. It could be interpreted as an open letter regarding how the media has portrayed Ariana. The media goes through cycles of uplifting women just to knock them down. This happens over and over, and we have seen Grande go through this in recent times. Public perception shifts a lot, and the lines “Wait until you like me again / Wait for your love” represent this. The song can very much be interpreted to be about a romantic relationship, but the possibility of dual intentions add layers to this already deep and personal album. The music video features Evan Peters in a role we're not used to seeing him in -- a love interest!


Favorite lyrics: “But I don’t wanna feed this monstrous fire / Just wanna let this story die / And I’ll be alright…”




11. "i wish i hated you"

“I wish i hated you” is an honest look back at a past relationship. Ariana recognizes that it is hard to move on since she does not solely have bad memories. It is easier to be dismissive of the past when you do not have any remaining positive ties, but that’s not the situation she is in. The song has a toned down sound as it portrays this simple, relatable sentiment. Relationships are rarely just good or just bad. As she processes her feelings, Grande understands the complexity that comes with mourning a relationship in some senses while being glad to move on in other respects.


Favorite lyrics: “I rearrange my memories / I try to rewrite our life…”




12. "imperfect for you"

This album is strong throughout, but “imperfect for you” is a standout star. The song has an older sound and a stunning vocal performance. It is a love song that blends the album's themes of love and insecurity. Ariana is introspective about her mental health and worries but is assured that she is better in her relationship. The idea of finding personal balance in rhythm with another person is truly beautiful. Unexpected things and people joining your life can be chaotic, but they can also lead to something lovely. Between the bright vocals and self assurance, this song is one you’ll want to put on repeat.


Favorite lyrics: “How could we know / That this was a happy disaster?”




13. "ordinary things" (feat. Nonna)

The album ends with an optimistic sentiment. Ariana explores the concept of finding beauty in the mundane. After an album of turbulent emotions surrounding relationships, it is nice that the closing song reflects joy in the simpler moments. The song’s outro is an audio clip of Grande’s grandmother Marjorie, aka Nonna, providing relationship advice. This moment is sweet and brings the album full circle, as Grande received the answer she was looking for in “intro (end of the world)”. The advice feels like a happy ending. Breakups are awful, but they get you a step closer to that incredible feeling of knowing you’re with the person you were meant to love.


Favorite lyrics: “I don’t need no diamonds, just your time…” 




Ariana Grande showed a mature level of reflection and tact through this album. Eternal Sunshine deals with emotional content but succeeds in being sonically and thematically cohesive. Grande has been a widely discussed figure in recent pop culture history, and this album lays out her side of the story. It is a beautiful piece of art, and you should check it out if you haven’t already. Eternal Sunshine is now streaming everywhere!