Ariana Grande Channels Madonna, Smacks Haters on Deceptively Cheerful New Single, ‘Yes, And?’

Ariana Grande Channels Madonna, Smacks Haters on Deceptively Cheerful New Single, ‘Yes, And?’

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Ariana Grande’s first single under her own name in more than three years arrives with a feel-good, bouncy lilt in the melody and rhythm, and a clear inspiration from Madonna’s “Vogue” (along with a splash of mid-‘90s Janet Jackson). But first impressions can be deceiving, because the lyrics bear a refreshingly positive I-am-who-I-am, be-yourself-and-keep-it-moving message — but with teeth, as well as some well-placed expletives.

The upshot is in the lead-in and chorus: “If you find yourself in a dark situation, just turn on your light and be like, ‘Yes, and?’,” which continues with “Say that shit with your chest, and/ Be your own fuckin best friend… Keep moving like, ‘What’s next?’”

But the inspiration for those lyrics lies other places in the song: “Boy, put your lipstick on,” followed by “I’m so done with caring what you think” and “Don’t comment on my body, do not reply/ Your business is yours and mine is mine.”

The video for the song is slated to drop later on Friday.

As for other inspirations, the Madonna element is clear — there’s even a slightly robotic spoken middle section — although it does not use a “Vogue” sample: the song was written and produced by Grande with longtime collaborators Max Martin (the most successful songwriter-producer of the last 25 years, from Britney Spears to the Weeknd) and Ilya Salmanzadeh.

It adds up to a radio and dancefloor-friendly re-entry for the singer that has still has a tough edge — and sets the table for the long-awaited album she’s said is coming later this year.

While Ariana Grande has been featured on several hit singles in recent years — most notably the Weeknd’s remixes of “Save Your Tears” and “Die for You” — she hasn’t released an album or even a single under her own name since her sixth full-length, “Positions,” dropped in October 2020. She’s been hard at work on Universal’s big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked,” which is due in November, and more quietly, she also split with longtime manager Scooter Braun and is now repped by Brandon Creed (who handles Lovato, Troye Sivan, Charli XCX, Mark Ronson and others).

A series of Instagram posts last year revealed that she’s been working on album number seven with longtime collaborators Max Martin and Ilya Salmanzadeh — posting silent clips of herself singing in the studio (“No snippets this time!”). On Dec. 27, she finally confirmed that the album is coming this year, possibly sooner than later (since she also tagged video director Christian Breslauer and several dancers in that post). Among the photos were ones of herself dancing and another of her weeping in the studio, saying “I’m so tired… But so happy and grateful.” She offered, by way of explanation, “The two moods of the album.”

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