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Ariana Grande hits the bright spot with the breakup bops on ‘Eternal Sunshine’: review

The new Ariana Grande album is, as the kids say, a vibe.

And the mood of “Eternal Sunshine” — the octave-leaping diva’s first LP since 2020’s “Positions” — is a forever forecast of cloud-busting, post-breakup bliss.

Whether it’s self-renewal or a romantic one, Grande’s seventh studio set is the kind of spring awakening that we could all use in the final days of winter.

Time to soak up the “Sunshine,” folks.

Four years after her last studio album, 2020’s “Positions,” Ariana Grande returns with “Eternal Sunshine.” Ariana Grande / Instagram
Four years after her last studio album, 2020’s “Positions,” Ariana Grande returns with “Eternal Sunshine.” Ariana Grande / Instagram

But as much as this has been an unusually long album hiatus for Grande – who had released six LPs in the seven years between her 2013 debut “Yours Truly” and “Positions” — even more has changed in her personal life.

Following a string of high-profile romances — and subsequent splits — with the likes of Big Sean, Mac Miller and Pete Davidson, the pop superstar got married to real estate agent Dalton Gomez in 2021. But after the couple announced their split in 2023, Grande said “Thank U, Next” and moved on with Ethan Slater — her co-star in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of “Wicked.”

After a mood-setting intro that sums up this album’s sumptuousness in 92 seconds, Grande makes her divorcee come-up clear: “Bye bye, boy bye/It’s over, it’s over, oh yeah,” she coos at the beginning of “Bye” as if she is twirling away her troubles in a flip of her ponytail.

Ariana Grande NY Post photo composite
Ariana Grande NY Post photo composite

Say hello to your new breakup anthem.

But Ariana is not Adele — and, as far as breakup albums go, “Eternal Sunshine” is not “21.”

There may be a bit of melancholy floating through “Don’t Wanna Break Up Again,” but not enough to disturb the midtempo groove, over which Grande admits that she may be the problem: “I don’t wanna f – – k with your head/ It’s breaking my heart/ To keep breaking yours again/ This situationship has to end/ But I just can’t refuse/ I don’t wanna break up again.”

There’s something refreshing and empowering about hearing a young woman like Grande not being the victim but the victimizer, owning all of her relationship issues as so many men have throughout the course of pop history.

Ariana Grande’s new album, “Eternal Sunshine,” has already spawned the No. 1 hit “Yes, And?” Katia Temkin
Ariana Grande’s new album, “Eternal Sunshine,” has already spawned the No. 1 hit “Yes, And?” Katia Temkin

Songs such as “Don’t Wanna Break Up Again” and the dreamy “Supernatural” also mark a sophisticated sonic shift for the now 30-year-old singer. After the sure-fire pop fodder of “No Tears Left to Cry,” “7 Rings” and “Positions,” “Eternal Sunshine” takes you back to the deep-cut feels of ’90s Mariah Carey — Grande’s most obvious influence when she first arrived on the music scene.

And while it’s great to hear Grande getting her R&B groove back, she’s still got the pop hooks — even if they’re a little less obvious than they once were.

Now there’s moody emo and electro pulsing through tracks such as the shimmering title tune, the ethereal “I Wish I Hated You” and the new single “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait for Your Love),” a gently throbbing goodbye.

At 30, Ariana Grande makes a sophisticated sonic shift on her new album “Eternal Sunshine.” Katia Temkin
At 30, Ariana Grande makes a sophisticated sonic shift on her new album “Eternal Sunshine.” Katia Temkin

Still, Grande has already scored her third No. 1 hit with the first single, anti-hater anthem “Yes, And?”

But “Eternal Sunshine” is about more than hit singles, which have never been a problem for Grande. This is a real album, cohesively and concisely executed in just 35 1/2 minutes.

From all of us who still believe in the album as an art form, you have our eternal thanks, Ariana.