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Meaning of the song ‘Next Best Thing’ by ‘Tenille Arts’

Released: 2024

“Next Best Thing” by Tenille Arts is a deliciously sardonic anthem—a bittersweet reflection on love lost and the journey to self-recovery post-breakup. At its core, this song is a declaration of self-worth and moving on, served with a side of poetic justice. It’s Arts holding a mirror to a past lover’s choices, essentially saying, “You had the best, lost it, and now, all you get is second best.”

The narrative begins with a vivid image: a once lively party now over, the remnants of celebration scattered about. This setting isn’t just physical; it’s metaphorical for a relationship that was once alive with excitement but is now over. Arts sings about a future moment of realization for her former lover, a sobering, too-late epiphany that she, the person he took for granted, has firmly moved on. The confetti, once a symbol of joy, turns into a metaphor for the mess left behind for him to clean up alone.

In the chorus, Tenille Arts nails a statement of empowerment and finality. She was the queen to his king, not just a temporary companion but a genuine partner. Yet, when faced with the depth and reality of the relationship, he balked—”the boy who was scared to stay.” Arts’ message is clear: she wishes him well, but with a twist of irony. The best thing he could have hoped for was her, but since that ship has sailed, all she can offer him now are her wishes for him to find the “next best thing.”

The second verse delves into the nuances of their lost relationship. Arts highlights her deep understanding and connection with her ex—almost telepathic in nature. She hints at the challenges of being with someone like him, requiring a balance of patience and understanding, suggesting that anyone coming after her will have to bear the brunt of learning to handle him. Yet, despite this, she acknowledges that this future person, while nearly perfect, will always fall short of what they had, further emphasizing the notion of settling for the next best thing following their breakup.

The bridge and repeated choruses amplify the sentiment of lost potential and the finality of her decision to move on. The use of “Ahhh Oooh” elevates the emotion, adding a layer of melancholic acceptance to the mix. It’s a powerful reinforcement of her message: she’s irreplaceable, and in her absence, he’s left grappling with the consequence of his actions—settling for less because he let the best walk away.

Throughout “Next Best Thing,” Tenille Arts masterfully intertwines a story of love, loss, and empowerment with a catchy, soulful melody. It’s not just a breakup song; it’s a declaration of self-assurance, a lesson in valuing what you have before it’s gone, and ultimately, a powerful statement that sometimes, looking back, the next best thing is all that’s left. Arts’ delivery is equal parts defiant and reflective, embedding her tale of moving on with an infectious rhythm that resonates well beyond the final note.

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