“Imagine,” a new song from Ariana Grande’s upcoming fifth studio album, Thank U, Next, is an exercise in narrative building. Over a twinking, string-laden Happy Perez & Pop Wansel production, Ariana crafts a mirage of the perfect relationship only to have it destroyed by her piercing belts in the chorus. Ariana’s progression in songwriting has been beautiful to watch. Even the simplest descriptions of “pad thai” and “bubbles and bubbly” make “Imagine” feel like a small peek to Ariana’s mind.
Ariana has spoken extensively of her love of vocal arrangement. On “Imagine,” her vocal arrangements are more intricate and incredible than ever before. Whether it’s the harmonies on the bridge juxtaposed against those otherworldly whistle tones, or the slowly intensifying tempo of the verses and pre-choruses, Ariana’s knowledge of music shines through as much as her artistry does.
Between the wildly-successful “thank u, next” and this new R&B slow burner, Thank U, Next is shaping up to possibly top the sheer greatness of Sweetener. Ariana’s artistic evolution has been a joy to witness, she keeps breaking new ground for herself with every release.