The release of ‘yes, and?’ is effectively the silver lining of Hollywood’s SAG-AFTRA strikes, as interruption to the upcoming Wicked movies propelled Grande back to the recording booth. Late 2023 saw the singer-actress begin to tease intensive studio sessions alongside renowned producers, Max Martin and Ilya, already known and worshipped for crafting previous anthems such as ‘Into You’. Put simply, this was a pop emergency worth temporarily side-lining Glinda for.
Indeed, the track’s production is a self-declaring highlight. The song itself is opened with a groovy 40-second instrumental, providing us just enough time to ditch bars or escape toilets and congregate on the dancefloor. Interpolation of Madonna’s hit ‘Vogue’ only further urges listeners to dance, as Grande takes on a snappy empowered demeanour, equally nodding to the divas who precede her.
Lyrically, speculation around the songwriter’s personal life in the past year seems to supply the single’s framework. A feisty spoken bridge, in which Grande addresses gossipers directly, offers an element of tranquillity amidst the busy scene of the song. Less commenting on her appearance and romantic counterparts are amongst her demands. The choreo-centric music video illustrates this moment wonderfully, as we see the singer meander through obsessive critics whilst uttering these words, before insisting that they dance with her for one final chorus.
Ultimately, a prevailing message of encouragement and self-assurance is delivered, underpinning existent themes across the queer icon’s discography. Grande reminds all of us that, if there is any energy to be taken into this new year, it is to “be your own f***in’ best friend” surely.