The end of Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman era was nothing short of tragic, with the infamous Manchester bombing occurring right after her show and sending shock throughout the music world. After taking the rest of the year off and staying quiet, she's returned with a new look on life and a new direction. Ariana Grande defies gravity (and expectations) in 'No Tears Left To Cry,' her first song since the tragedy and the lead single from her forthcoming album.
The sound of 'No Tears Left To Cry' is much different than what Grande has put out previously. It's relatively minimal, but says a lot with what it has. Atop its lowkey R&B fusion, Grande sings longingly and almost distantly, the chorus passionately echoing her happiness with where she is in life right now: "Right now, I'm in a state of mind / I wanna be in like all the time." She continues on to say she's done hurting, after tragedies like losing family members and what happened in Manchester, she's ready to move forward and take all that pain and make something of it, chanting: "Ain't got no tears left to cry / So I'm pickin' it up, pickin' it up." Grande's vocals aren't as flashy as usual, keeping things modest as she maintains a new maturity in the song.
The music video is much more flamboyant than the song itself, and the production is just genuinely impressive. It's set in a world where gravity doesn't follow the constraints it does on Earth, and where anyone can simply walk onto another plane by stepping over a corner. The cities are massive and gorgeous, while other scenes feature choreography and focus on the special effects. It's almost the direct thematic antithesis of the song, however, and while it is very impressive, it doesn't really fit the song beyond a few shots (Grande being trapped in the lights on the ceiling being one of the scenes that does feel in line with the song).
Ariana Grande defies gravity (and expectations) in 'No Tears Left To Cry' as she moves onto a new era ready to shed her past. Above all else, 'No Tears Left To Cry' is a self-elevating anthem that shows that the past can't be forgotten, but can help shape the present. In the face of tragedy, Grande has risen up again and again, and this won't stop her, either.
Rating: 80 / 100
Music Video Rating: 80 / 100
Stream or buy 'No Tears Left To Cry' on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: