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The Ariana Grande reign, at this point, is unstoppable. While “thank u, next” returns to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, the pint-sized diva is wasting no time teasing her official follow-up to Sweetener.
This week, she drops yet another brand new track from the upcoming project: “imagine.”
“A lot of this album mourns failed yet important, beautiful relationships in my life (as well as celebrates growth / exploring new independence). But for those of you asking about ‘imagine’: I would say if ‘thank u, next’ = acceptance… ‘imagine’ = denial,” Ariana tweeted. “I don’t feel like labeling it a “promo” single because it’s just a feeling. A vibe. The word promo makes me nauseous tbh lol. I just want you to have and enjoy it.”
“Imagine a world like that,” Ari croons on repeat across the moody and airy bass-heavy production, vaguely recalling her collaborations with Cashmere Cat.
Know that short-lived “Honeymoon Avenue” type of feeling? When you expect to take all the good and none of the bad in a relationship? Yeah, Ari sure as hell knows that is just a non-existent reality: “We could light up ’til I’m ‘sleep on your chest/ Love how my face fits so good in your neck/ Boy, can you imagine a world like that?/ Imagine a world,” she laments. (She’s fully aware of her denial, and she’s at peace with that.)
The melodies are excellent and the vocals are stellar (as expected) — just brace yourselves for the outro of the song that’s especially special, as the production builds and Ari‘s voice suddenly takes on new heights and channels those iconic Mariah-like whistle notes. It’s a moment, dahhling.