Ariana Grande is back with “yes, and?,” the 24th No. 1 for producer Max Martin.

Ariana Grande is back with “yes, and?,” the 24th No. 1 for producer Max Martin. (AP)

Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, Jan. 27, 2024: “yes, and?,” Ariana Grande

Everything old is new again. Or, well, something like that.

Ariana Grande’s musical return to pop culture’s conscience is precisely what you’d expect from the pop star as she takes all the nonmusical drama surrounding her life (feeling the brunt of body shaming, potentially ruining a marriage) and thumbs her nose at it. This is the woman who topped charts with a song called “thank u, next,” remember, so she has no fear when it comes to addressing her public persona with both arrogance and attitude on top of pulsating beats. This is no exception.

Making this hit at least mildly more intriguing is Max Martin’s touch (providing the producer with his 24th No. 1 song, a record). Gone are the futuristic ethos of some of Grande’s past successes; in is a House groove straight out of 1991 Madonna’s vault. It’s a fun twist in the legacy of Grande’s post-modern pop and one she embraces here with an understated delivery that takes nothing away from her cherished wit. Think Robyn, but formerly engaged to Pete Davidson and less imaginative.

“If you find yourself in a dark situation, just turn on your light and be like, ‘Yes, and?’” Grande sings in the walkup to each chorus. For a song that thrives only when it’s illuminated by the shadows it casts, there’s no need to wonder if her question is rhetorical.

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