The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

May 10, 2024

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

May 10, 2024

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“Eternal Sunshine”: A Review

Ariana Grande’s 7th studio album titled ‘Eternal Sunshine’ graced our ears with 13 beautifully composed tracks last month, and it’s safe to say it’s been a new obsession for many, myself included. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been what you might call a die-hard Ariana Grande fan, despite the presence of her chart-topping hits that seem to take over the music industry continuously. However, this album has single-handedly changed my perspective. Witnessing her growth and evolution as an artist over the years has been nothing short of remarkable. It feels like just yesterday when we’d hear her sing in ‘Victorious’ or ‘Sam & Cat’.

Right off the bat, the album kicks off with a resounding impact. “intro (end of world)” serves as a graceful introduction, setting the stage for the emotional journey that lies ahead. Grande’s melodic vocals evoke a range of emotions, from sheer joy to intense introspection. The album itself is a cathartic experience. Personally, I find this track perfect for unwinding during study sessions or moments of relaxation; I love the feelings of joy it brings out. 

Admittedly, there are only a handful of tracks that have shown up on my repeat playlist, but that’s not a knock against the album at all. It’s more about alignment with my own current state of mind. Take “bye,” for instance – a gentle composition both instrumentally and vocally. It has a calming effect that still leaves room for subtle head bops. However, while it may not have resonated with me as deeply as some other tracks have, it undeniably has had a charm with others. I would be happy if I heard it in passing, but would I intentionally listen to it? Probably not. 

The same sentiment applies to other standout tracks like “yes, and?” and “the boy is mine,” both of which have gained substantial traction among fans and on platforms like TikTok. Their infectious energy and catchy hooks are undeniable, even if they might not find a permanent place in my personal rotation.

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One aspect of the album that is so underappreciated is its ability to take listeners on a thoughtful journey. “Saturn Returns Interlude,” which was initially confusing for me, adds a layer of depth to the album’s narrative. It is a 42-second long track where a woman explains what a Saturn return is. If you’re not already aware, a Saturn return occurs approximately every 29.5 years, marking the point when the planet returns to the same position it was in at the time of one’s birth, usually around the ages of 29 to 30. I speculate that this astrological phenomenon serves as a significant coming-of-age moment, reflecting Grande’s own life journey, especially considering she’s currently 30. At this stage, it seems she’s shedding old layers and embracing growth, transitioning into a more healed and mature version of herself. It seamlessly leads into the next track, “Eternal Sunshine,” particularly with the woman’s proclamation of “Wake Up.”

Speaking of “Eternal Sunshine,” it offers a delightful and soothing listening experience. When enjoyed with headphones, the 8D effect is truly remarkable. Grande’s vocals stand out as incomparable, further enhancing the song’s effect. Understanding the context provided by the previous track, it becomes evident that this song serves as an ode to her musical journey and the onset of her 30s. 

My two favorite tracks on the album bring out intense emotions that resonate deeply within me, providing a cathartic release. “supernatural” may not be conventionally sad, but the emotions it evokes feel similar to intense joy and liberation. The underlying themes of acceptance and surrender are so releasing. If you have some issues you need to process, I would suggest giving this song a listen. 

I don’t need to think twice about what the best song on the album is. “we can’t be friends” – is undeniably my favorite track on the album and likely to secure a spot in my Spotify top 5 this year. The song captures a sentiment that’s difficult to articulate. While its upbeat tempo may seem to be clashing with its themes of heartbreak and longing, it also acknowledges the tendency to shield ourselves from harsh realities, choosing instead to be blissfully ignorant. To me, this is very realistic and genuine. It’s a beautifully crafted piece where every element and part of the song falls into place. I might be overplaying it to the point where my friends are growing tired of my constant praise and playbacks, but I simply can’t help it. Ariana’s vocals are effortless, adding another layer of awe to an already exceptional track.

I truly struggle to form any significant critiques of this album. It provided me with a much-needed cathartic listening experience. Even if certain tracks didn’t resonate with me personally, others have undoubtedly really enjoyed them. That said, I can’t help but imagine how enriching it would have been to have featured artists collaborate with Ariana Grande on this project. Regardless, songs like “supernatural” and “we can’t be friends” stand out as the driving force behind this album’s success.

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