Review of “Eternal Sunshine”: Ariana Grande’s 7th Studio Album

Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine opens with a question: “How can I tell if I’m in the right relationship?” A story of love once found and lost, this album carries its own grief with maturity and consideration — exercising restraint, where lingering pains often seek to react.

Eternal Sunshine is a concept album that is both confessional and observant. It is an acknowledgment of the fear that kept her from living in her truth. The healing in this album is routed through its many tangled emotions that all lead to the same conclusion. It follows Grande’s reluctance and pressing need to step from the ruins of her past into the present — while allowing both her honesty and compassion to coexist.

In Eternal Sunshine, Grande is stripped of her public persona to reveal a portrait of vulnerability underneath — before trying on its narrative like a costume, in tracks “true story” and “the boy is mine.” The album harmoniously blends R&B, house, and pop elements throughout its course. Its titular track reckons with the desire to feel painless, as Grande attempts to wipe her memories clean — one of the album’s many references to the 2004 film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The journey of heartbreak and new beginnings in this album is not linear and struggles to find a resolution — but Eternal Sunshine eventually discovers an answer to its focal question. Featured on the final track “ordinary things,” Grande’s Nonna informs listeners on how to recognize the right relationship or place to be in. Eternal Sunshine gives an intimate insight into the end of Grande’s world — what created space for her to truly understand and honor herself.