Jillian Mapes for Pitchfork called "Sweetener" a career defying moment for Grande:
Grande may have delivered more of a full-album vibe than a bangers-filled juggernaut, but there is at least one career-defining moment here—the song she has been looking for, wrapped in an unassuming package.
Take a listen to "Thank U, Next" below via Spotify.
Michael Cragg recently wrote for The Guardian that despite Grande's tough year personally, "Thank U, Next" delivers:
Arriving less than six months after Sweetener, Thank U, Next could have felt hurried, a dashed-off cash-in to secure Grande’s status as the world’s biggest pop star. Instead, the braggadocious, ice-cold low point 7 Rings aside, it feels more cohesive, the result of a burst of creativity and a prevailing mood as opposed to Sweetener’s crude split down the middle between Pharrell’s trademark sinewy sound and the more pop leanings of Max Martin and his team. While here the production is shared between the likes of Martin, Tommy Brown and Happy Perez, there’s a through line sonically – a kind of off-kilter, metallic eeriness – that ties it together.