Review: Ariana Grande – Positions

Positions, the sixth album released by Italian-American artist Ariana Grande, is an exciting album touching on themes that fans were not expecting. The album is made up of a variety of R&B, Trap and Pop songs, creating an incredible flow when hearing the album in any order.

When hearing this album initially, I was gobsmacked by how expressive Grande was about her sexuality and sex life, which appears to completely juxtapose some of her earlier career moves such as being a Nickelodeon star. Even after songs like God is a Woman and 7 Rings, Grande was not able to shake her perception as a child/teen star. However, with this album I think she has finally been able to break away from her ‘America’s Sweetheart’ image. When looking at Grande’s songs in recent years you can see her desperate attempt to get away from her depiction as a child star.  

Grande has broken the media with her album Positions. Like her album Sweetener, she has yet again climbed up to number 1 in the US Billboard 200 and UK albums (OCC). The 27 year-old has yet to disappoint her fans. She appears to have an intense relationship with her fans, just as she has grown-up in the public eye, her fans have been able to follow her musical evolution, allowing her to make moves from songs like No Tears Left to Cry, a heart break song, to 34+35 a song purely about intense romance. 

Collaborations 

Off the Table — The Weekend 

Off the Table, despite being one of the least popular songs on the album has still been able to draw attention from fans. The lyrics have allowed fans to speculate on Grande’s current relationship status. The song itself is composed almost perfectly, the echoes and Ariana Grande’s pitch was able to bring the quiet and peaceful song to life. The Weekend’s verses and background vocals added the zest needed for the song to really fit into the album.

Safety Net — Ty Dolla $ign 

The banger of a song, Safety Net, speaks about the risks taken when getting out of a relationship. Both her and Ty Dolla $ign express their feelings on how they are willing to fall in love again with no “safety net”. Like most songs the theme of romance and love has caught fans off guard and caused people to make assumptions concerning Grande’s love life.

Motive — Doja Cat

Grande was smart to include Doja Cat in on of her singles, as the artist is rising in popularity, it added an extra edge to the album needed to get it to the top of the charts. Motive, is one of the more popular songs in this album as it featuring the Say So and Like That singer. The song is about questioning the intentions of romantic partners, a song that a lot of women can identify with.

Overall the collaborations formed an integral part of the album. The artists featured are all known to sing about the theme of sex which helped Ariana Grande maintain the prominent theme of the album.

Billboard Hits 

3rd Place — Positions

The third most popular song according to Billboard Magazine, this hit single can be heard everywhere you go. Not only is it a catchy song but Grande was able to pair it with a captivating music video. The singer published the music video on the 22nd of October, knowing American elections were coming up she stuck to the theme of presidency. Obviously Positions is one of the album’s most important tracks with it being the album title. The song specifically hooks you with its chorus, the song is tuneful and an easy track to listen to with the rhythmic drums and guitar in the background on repeat. The song has even created a trend on TikTok where fans try to recreate the music video but incontrovertibly can’t reenact the incredible performance by Miss Grande herself. 

2nd Place — 34+35

This song has been placed at number two by Billboard, understandably this song has drawn the most attention in my personal opinion by fans. Out of the 14 songs on the Album, this is the one song where the subject area has really shocked fan. The song title and chorus is a sexual innuendo for 69, a cheeky song if you will. Other than the song lyrics, the melody is made up bass, drums and hand claps, definitely an interesting choice. The song is the embodiment of what all “classic” critics have been referring to when talking about this album. The constant reference to sex in this song is what makes the song a success. Like how Grande put it herself this song is “ridiculous and so funny.” The song’s instrumental is quite innocent and “Disney-like” then Grande wrote the lyrics as a joke which created a real life oxymoron. In general this song is number two because it is catchy, easy to listen to and just a blast to sing along too. 

1st Place — pov

The most popular song and in first place according to Billboard Magazine is the song pov is ironically the 14th and last track on the album. Out of all songs this is by far the most romantic song because it talks about trusting and loving oneself. In the song Ariana Grande talks about trying to see herself from someone else’s point of view, and she sings about trying to understand how to love herself if she looks at herself from a partners ‘pov’. The song’s instrument is majorly made up of analog and digital synthesisers and electric guitar, the song is smooth and easy to listen to. Grande, like in her other songs, was able to really match up her voice with the beat of the music, like when she sings the chorus it is like hearing a real life ellipsis. 

The reason why I think this is the most popular track on the album is because her audience and fans are able to identify with the feelings being expressed through the lyrics. In today’s society body image and beauty standards are looked into more often especially by young women, so lyrics like “And if my eyes deceive me, won’t let them stray too far away” really depicts how people misrepresent themselves. Even though the song covers a theme (self-love) that many artists cover, the way she has presented the topic is more intimate than other songs. 

Positions, as an album overall hits all the areas needed to be a number one album and although as Ariana Grande’s music does become more mainstream, she has still been able to put a unique twist into this album. The singer alongside her incredible soprano voice has yet again released a beautiful array of tracks. I personally can’t get over this album and hope she is already working on her next single or piece of work.

By Karla Louise Hallett

Listen to the Positions below:

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