Eternal Sunshine

By: Nick Gibeley

Ariana you’ve done it again. 

After refreshing Spotify countless times, Eternal Sunshine finally appeared on my screen just after midnight on Friday, March 8th. From the first beat, I was instantly in love. After I finished listening, I wondered if I loved the album so much just because I was tired and groggy (you know that feeling at night when you’re comfy and every song just hits), and I thought the album might not have sounded as good when I woke up. But girl I was so wrong. Eternal Sunshine has easily turned into my favorite Ariana Grande album and one of my favorite albums of all time. 

Eternal Sunshine, in my opinion, is Ariana’s most vulnerable album. It focuses on her up-and-down relationship with Dalton Gomez, her husband from 2021 to 2024, as well as media backlash following her relationship with Ethan Slater, who eventually separated from his wife. We can’t definitively say that Slater divorced his wife because of his and Ariana’s relationship, but that did not stop a frenzy of homewrecker allegations towards Ariana on social media. This led to Eternal Sunshine’s first single, yes, and?, released in January 2024. Here, Ariana shows her unapologetic self, and asks listeners to please, mind their own business and leave her alone. Some say yes, and? doesn’t fit sonically with the rest of the album, but I completely disagree. Even though it’s much more up-tempo compared to the rest of the album, it fits perfectly within the storyline as a whole. 

The album begins with intro (end of the world), where Ariana asks, “How can I tell if I’m in the right relationship?” Immediately, she throws us into the deep end and demonstrates her questioning of her marriage with Gomez. Next, we have bye and don’t wanna break up again, both of which provide a definitive end to the marriage. While the content is somewhat negative, these two tracks are fun and I kind of feel guilty for dancing to them?? Anyone else?? 

Next in the album, we see Ariana grow more comfortable with leaving this relationship and diving into a new one. With songs like eternal sunshine and that boy is mine, she proves that she is ready to move on. However, we question that confidence with we can’t be friends (wait for your love), which basically counters the first half of the album and shows Ariana’s sadness and vulnerability following her divorce. I also see this song as her talking to her audience, who try to input themselves in her life even though she does not know them (hence, “we can’t be friends”). This sadness is furthered with i wish i hated you (in my opinion, the saddest song on the album), where Ariana explains just that – that she wishes she hated her ex because this breakup would be much easier. However there is still a sense of love and longing reflected throughout the album. 

Overall, Ariana showcased her immense vocal talent and proved that she has grown and matured as an artist. I feel very confident in saying this is her best album, and I encourage anyone who loved Ariana’s part works (particularly Sweetener and thank u, next) to listen.