"It’s very, like, trippy Rubber Soul vibes": Ariana Grande reveals how a classic Beatles album inspired her new record, Eternal Sunshine

Ariana Grande
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Just as you’re right to be wary of anyone who says that their favourite Beatles album is Sgt Pepper, you can be confident in their discerning taste if they cite Rubber Soul as the greatest of the Fab Four’s records.

Widely viewed as the bridge between the Beatles’ pure pop era and their more experimental phase, their sixth album, released in 1965, has inspired generations of artists ever since, and the latest to express her love of the record is none other than Ariana Grande.

In fact, Grande cites Rubber Soul as a big influence on Eternal Sunshine, her new album, particularly on the woozy guitar ballad, Imperfect For You, which has rhythmic similarities to Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). Speaking to Zach Sang (full video interview at the bottom of the page), Grande said that not only was this the last song she wrote for the album, but that it’s also her favourite.

“I love it so much,” she confirmed. “I think sonically it’s my favourite; it’s very different for me. It’s very, like, trippy Rubber Soul vibes, and that is kind of my favourite music to listen to, and I don’t think I’ve ever really explored it for myself, but it just felt really fun to lean into it and make something like super trippy ‘60s organic feeling, you know? Just capturing that kind of thing.”

Rolling Stone, meanwhile, reports that, during a listening event for Eternal Sunshine, Grande again confirmed that she’d had Rubber Soul on repeat while making the album, and cited the flutes in the breakdown section of lead single Yes, And? as another example of its influence. Indeed, so keen was she for people to notice them that she held up a napkin with ‘Enter Flutes’ written on it during the playback, and revealed that she’d had the woodwinds turned up in the mix for the album version of the track, to ensure they were fully appreciated. 

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.