Ariana Grande has never shied away from being positive and promoting self love, which are both some of her most preached concepts on her past two albums thank u, next and Sweetener. Now, the singer has released a new album titled Positions expanding on those same themes and more.
Prior to the new LP’s release, Grande gave fans one single, the title track “positions.” Grande also released a music video along with it. The video is centered around her switching positions from the kitchen to the bedroom for her partner, in accordance with the meaning of the song. The music video also embodied woman empowerment, since Grande played President of the United States as a nod to the presidential election that just happened.
In 2018, Grande released one of her most emotional albums, Sweetener. This album has been seen as a saving grace for the worrying mind, since Grande goes deep into her own psyche to tell her listeners to take care of themselves. Just a few months later, in 2019, Grande released her 5th studio album thank u, next, which showcases the singer's pain but from a more romantic place in her life. I think of Sweetener and thank u, next as beginnings to Grande’s journey to being healed and happier. I see Sweetener being her first step to recovery, thank u, next as her reflection, and positions is an image of her finally healed and happy.
Grande tears into new genre territory with this album, creating tracks that contrast any generic genre like usual Pop. The genre of this album is what I would describe as a mix between Pop and R&B.
The first track titled “shut up” has orchestral strings layered with her harmonious vocals along with the accompaniment of her strong willed “mind your own business” mentality, which seems to be a nice mash up of unlikely partners. Grande’s voice can make any profane saying sound heavenly, her first song further proves this point. In the song, Grande introduces her stance on hateful people unapologetically, stating “So maybe you should shut up.”
Grande implements peaceful orchestra-like sound with strings into quite a few songs on this album including “34+35” and “obvious”. “34+35,” Grande’s most popular song besides “positions”, speaks heavily on her sexuality and shows her openness to perform for her partner, which seems to be a heavy theme within this album too.
Unfortunately, there are not many bops hidden between the slow movement of the album, except for tracks like “love language” and “motive” featuring Doja Cat. Both songs introduce a more upbeat aspect to the album, and could even render a dance move or two. Even then, they both include slow and melodic hooks.
My favorite song, “just like magic,” continues her positive message and promotes the idea of manifesting good into her life. “Manifest it. I finessed it.” Grande sings. “Just like magic, I’m attractive. I get everything I want 'cause I’m attracted”. Grande’s message is clear, she wants people to know that she is in control of who and what she lets into her life. When I listen to her lyrics and her vocals, it always puts me in a good mood. I recommend playing the track before a long day at work, a date, or any big event, It will definitely get you feeling confident. Or at least in a good manifesting mood.
Despite being an album with no bad songs, I was not left very surprised or wowed after listening to it. I felt this album was very safe yet beautiful.
However, Grande did a wonderful job at intertwining R&B and Pop in this album, even if it had little wow-factor. Even with that feat, Grande still created a wonderful and highly enjoyable album nonetheless.
With all that being said, I give Positions a swift ⅘ smiles :)