BOCA RATON — After an uncommonly silent year on social media, Florida-born singer Ariana Grande is back in the spotlight following the Thursday night debut of her dazzling “No Tears Left to Cry” music video. The song is the first single from the singer’s fourth studio album from Republic Records.
Grande, 24, has kept a relatively low profile since a suicide bombing at a Manchester, England concert last May upended her “Dangerous Woman” tour and drove the pop star to her mother’s Boca Raton home to rest and reflect.
The new video is perhaps reflective of Grande’s mental state in the wake of the bombing. The visual spectacle is replete with images of the singer thrown off-balance. She employs the device of walking up and down walls, a theme first codified into music video lore in 1986 by superstar Lionel Richie for his “Dancing on the Ceiling” video. The technique has become more associated in recent years, however, with the mind-bending action scenes in the 2010 Christopher Nolan film “Inception.”
Adding to the overall dizzying effect of the imagery is the flowing gown worn by Grande through key sequences, and the exaggerated-length silver ponytail whipping and dangling from her head.
The video, directed by Dave Meyers (who also directed the “Humble” video from rapper Kendrick Lamar) also featured shots of a dark, possibly post-apocalyptic city, with Grande featured prominently in the foreground.
In another sequence (whose meaning is left up to the viewer), Grande dons various identical face masks.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the in-demand singer has driven traffic in excess of 5 million views of the new video on YouTube.
The song is now available for download, and appears to be the harbinger of big things to come. In addition to Grande’s soulful singing, the album is reported to feature the work of rapper Pharrell Williams as well as legendary record producers Max Martin and Savan Kotecha.
“Right now I’m in a state of mind/ I wanna be in like all the time,” the singer belted out.
Irrespective of the off-kilter imagery in the video, it sounds as though Grande perhaps has her feet back under her and is ready for whatever challenges come next, and her stated perspective now is a far cry from her post-bombing tweet of “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have the words.”
Now that she’s back on the world stage, great things are bound to follow.
Here’s the whole video: