The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


“eternal sunshine” illuminates the trials and tribulations of love and fame

Courtesy of
Ariana Grande’s new album, “eternal sunshine.”

Despite Ariana Grande’s almost four-year hiatus from releasing new music, she’s become a cornerstone of tabloid news. Between her marriage in 2021, her recent divorce, her role as Glinda in the upcoming film “Wicked” and her public relationship with actor Ethan Slater, this star’s name has dominated pop culture news. Now, Grande breaks her silence and explores the peaks and valleys of her recent relationships in her album “eternal sunshine.”

Released on March 8, 2024, “eternal sunshine” includes 13 tracks with a run time of 36 minutes. The tracks vary from mellow, reflective works to upbeat dance tunes to provide an expansive picture of the joy and despair found on the path to love. Throughout “eternal sunshine,” Grande also comments on the media’s invasive portrayal of her relationship, shedding light on the relationship between privacy and fame.

Once again flaunting her impressive range, whistle tones and runs, Grande incorporates her signature style into this wide array of songs. Synths, strings and catchy percussion flow throughout the album, complemented by layered vocals and melodic harmonies. Grande primarily stays in the pocket of her typical pop and R&B style.

“intro (end of the world)” begins the album with a bang as Grande asks, “How can I tell if I’m in the right relationship?” Through the song’s smooth, soft harmonies on top of soothing strings, she questions the strength of her love.

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The following track, “bye,” radically deviates from the previous subdued song, delving into a distinct disco sound. With an upbeat rhythm and empowering lyrics, this song serves as the perfect break-up anthem. Grande encourages listeners to find strength within themselves to escape an unproductive relationship.

“don’t wanna break up again” comments on the feeling of entrapment Grande experiences, feeling that her partner cannot accept the authentic version of herself. Despite her somber lyrics, Grande sprinkles a touch of humor into this song by referring to her marriage as a “situationship.” She follows the track with “Saturn Returns Interlude,” sampling a Diana Garland astrology video that discusses Saturn’s 29-year cycle. A distorted “Wake Up!” plays at the end of the interview, highlighting the importance of gaining maturity as one moves through life and navigates relationships.

The title track, “eternal sunshine,” follows “Saturn Returns Interlude.” Inspired by the 2004 Michael Gondry film, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” Grande explores the idea of erasing her memories to cope with the pain of a past relationship. She writes, “So I try to wipe my mind/ just so I feel less insane,” expressing her desire to rewrite or rewind the past.

“supernatural” takes a drastic turn into the highs of love as Grande portrays newfound infatuation. Through her powerful belting and identifiable runs, she describes the feeling of being lifted and possessed by the power of love.

Furthermore, “true story” marks a unique divergence from Grande’s typical bright sound. With a darker sound and deep bass lines, Grande embraces an antagonistic role in this track. She writes, “I’ll play the villain if you need me to,” encouraging the tabloids to keep her in the limelight and “roll the cameras.” These lyrics criticize the vast public attention she’s been receiving. The intensity builds throughout this song, eventually ending with a mischievous hum.

The next two tracks, “the boy is mine” and “yes, and?” heavily lean into early 90s and 2000s pop influences. Both songs are upbeat and buoyant, emerging as fan favorites for their dance-warranting beats. “the boy is mine” further expands on the infatuation highlighted in “supernatural,” also containing a similar feminine, R&B energy to her leaked song “Fantasize.” Her lead single on the album, “yes, and?,” builds on her criticism of the media in “true story.” Amid a wildly catchy tune, Grande empowers listeners to embrace who they are instead of hiding from the judgment of others. In essence, she says to get up, “put your lipstick on” and keep going.

The album mellows in the following track, “we can’t be friends (wait for your love).” Grande embraces the spirit of Saturn, making the mature decision to move on from her partner over a pulsing beat. The next track, “i wish i hated you,” opens with a bright synth (which I find eerily similar to the Wii startup music). Continuing the theme of moving past a partner, she expresses a desire to go back in time and fix things, capturing her struggle to mourn her previous relationship.

Grande’s favorite song on the album, “imperfect for you,” branches off from her focus on romantic relationships to honor her inner circle of friends. She expresses vulnerability in this track, thanking her loved ones for accepting her despite her flaws.

The final song on “eternal sunshine” is “ordinary things (feat. Nonna),” which opens with an arrangement of horns reminiscent of old jazz music. Grande soon juxtaposes this classic melody with fast-paced singing as she discusses the many adventures she can embark on with her loved one, finally achieving a point of satisfaction and thrill in her relationship. The album finishes with a recording of Nonna’s (her grandmother’s) experience finding real love, even comparing her partner to daylight.

“eternal sunshine” stays true to Grande’s fusion of pop and R&B while also providing a healthy mixture of upbeat and soft, comforting tracks. Grande elucidates the many facets of love between initial attraction, satisfaction, entrapment and heartache. Throughout this album, Grande grows with her audience to embrace a fearless authenticity and lack of regard for what others say. Grande shines an intimate light on her personal experiences, which will surely leave an eternal mark on her devoted followers.

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About the Contributor
Michelle Bookbinder
Michelle Bookbinder, Eastside Community Editor
Michelle Bookbinder is a junior and a Community Print Editor for Eastside. She’s also a member of FOP, Interact, French Club, and Women’s Shelter Support Club. Outside of school, Michelle can be found dancing or blasting music on a road trip with the windows down. Michelle can’t wait for another great year on the Editorial Board!

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