Make Some Noise: Exploring “Eternal Sunshine”


While her tremendous success as a pop star, actress and beauty brand mogul has defined Ariana Grande’s career, the backlash she’s received online about her divorce (and subsequent relationship) took center stage ahead of her newest album release. 

On her seventh studio album, “eternal sunshine,” Grande refuses to shy away from alleged stories of her divorce, supposed infidelity and backlash towards her recent relationship with Wicked co-star, Ethan Slater. She vulnerably lays it all out for the listener while maintaining one-of-a-kind vocals and iconic pop melodies.

On “eternal sunshine,Grande collectively channels the grief of her divorce with ex-husband Dalton Gomez, the excitement she has for her new relationship with Ethan Slater and her love for herself into some of her best work yet. 

That being said, I wanted to convey this album review in a ranking format to touch on my thoughts for each song. Take each ranking by its explanation more than its placement, as almost every song has had its turn as my favorite in even the few short weeks since the album’s release.

  1. “Saturn Returns Interlude” 

More of a monologue than a song itself, the interlude outlines the astrological importance of Saturn and how the planet’s 29-year cycle has caused Grande to “wake up” to the world around her. 

  1. “intro (end of the world)”

This soft yet powerful song opens the album with the question, “How can I tell if I’m in the right relationship?” It sets the scene for the remainder of the songs while having a hypnotic melody and calming harmonies. 

  1. “i wish i hated you”

While these lyrics are heartbreaking, I don’t find them as sad or as fresh as the lyrics of “we can’t be friends (wait for your love).” I’m sure this song will have its time in the limelight for me, but as of right now it doesn’t melodically stand out. 

  1. “ordinary things” (feat. Nonna)

A perfect ending to the album, the song answers the question posed in “intro (end of the world)” with a voice memo from Grande’s grandmother (affectionately called Nonna.) She says, “Never go to bed without kissin’ goodnight… and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it you’re in the wrong place, get out.” Grande more broadly answers the question by playing into the theme that nothing, even the most mundane of things, is ordinary in the “right” relationship. 

  1. “true story” 

I tell myself that the melody of this song isn’t my favorite, and yet I find it stuck in my head pretty much every time I listen. While it may appear to be a direct response to her recent divorce, she noted in an interview with Zane Lowe that the song is “an untrue story based on all untrue events.”

  1. “imperfect for you”

Melodically, I find this song to be the most interesting on the album. The dissonance and resolve of her harmonies in the chorus sonically convey track’s theme while being incredibly satisfying to listen to. The acoustic version of the song, released on the “slightly deluxe” version, strips the song down to focus more on her vulnerable vocals. 

  1. “the boy is mine” 

After her unreleased song meant for a TV show, “Fantasize,” was leaked and gained immense popularity, Grande’s call back to an iconic Brandy and Monica duet did not disappoint whatsoever. 

  1. “yes, and?” 

The first and only single on the album is an ode to self-love and paying attention to your business and your business alone. While it did leave me expecting the rest of the album to mirror more of the house vibe present on this track, its message is striking and it’s my favorite to dance with my friends to. 

  1. “bye” 

The funk and disco-esque strings on this song immediately grabbed my attention. It reminded me of her track “love language,” one of my favorites off of her last album, “Positions.” The song tells a clean break from her past relationship, succinctly said in the chorus with the lyrics: “boy-bye.” 

  1. “don’t wanna break up again”

This song showcases Grande’s impeccable talent for masking a sad song with an upbeat and catchy melody. Somehow she makes me want to dance to the lyrics, “I fall asleep crying, you turn up the TV, you don’t wanna hear me.” 

  1. “eternal sunshine”

The title track of Grande’s album draws heavy and explicit reference to the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a world in which the characters can therapeutically choose memories they would like to erase from their minds permanently. The song features playful rhyming, such as “sorry” with “atari” and “mirror” with “in her.”  

  1. “supernatural”

Upon my first few listens of the album, this song didn’t necessarily stick out to me, but when the slightly deluxe version of the album was released with Troye Sivan featured on this track, I realized how I’d overlooked it. It details how a relationship can “possess” you, and makes for an incredibly catchy track that highlights Grande’s effortless vocal runs. Sivan’s verse and harmonies bring another level to the song that I now can’t go without. 

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

On the surface, the pop ballad’s melody is driven by a steady, pounding beat. Its lyrics, however, are heart-rending, describing a beloved relationship that is now faltering. It conveys the emptiness and confusion that arise from a lost relationship mixed with the ultimate self-love that is found through it. The outro, complete with strings and horns, perfectly completes the emotional weight of the song. 

Eternal sunshine has become my favorite Ariana Grande album to date, despite its comparatively short life to the rest of her work. Its raw vulnerability combined with its melodic and vocal strength is something that few artists besides Grande have so effortlessly mastered. 


Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply