positions: track-by-track review
Miss Grande's latest album is a totally different sound. After pop powerhouse masterpieces and record-breaking collections, Positions is a bit tame compared to the singer's previous two releases. Exploring mid-tempo R&B and trap-pop, Grande plays it somewhat safe in a comfortable genre but still manages to create a refreshing, authentic selection of music.
Fans will able to hear the similarities between Ariana's first album (Yours Truly) and the Grammy award-winning Sweetener when listening to Positions' layered orchestral melodies and experimental production. While it's certainly not her best, Positions solidifies the pop star's place in pop royalty and adds another fantastic edition to her impressive discography, being a nice surprise during our COVID-quarantine world.
The album's opener updates listeners on how Grande is feeling since the whirlwind success of Thank U, Next, while also poking fun at critics in the song's chorus. Asking "how you be using your time?", the singer appears to tell haters to focus less of their time and energy on Ariana's life and "shut up". Combining orchestral strings and layered vocals, it's a gorgeous, cinematic opening that teases Grande's confidence.
Favourite lyric: "All them demons helped me see s*** differently, So don't be sad for me"
Those who are quick with their maths will be able to denote this song's naughty meaning. Oozing lyrics that are filled with lust and passion, 34+35 isn't shy in sharing Grande's desire for love and all that comes with it. Considering her new(ish) relationship with estate agent Dalton Gomez, it looks like she's all loved up and looking forward to the future with her new beau.
Favourite lyric: "You such a dream come true (true), Make a b**** wanna hit snooze"
The third track marks the first feature, a collaboration with American singer/rapper Doja Cat. The collab was first teased by Grande in May and Doja confirmed it's existence only last month. It's is a change of tone and the mixture of 21st-century funk & R&B beats makes motive a very catchy tune.
Favourite lyric: "Now you wanna spoil me, Did you want a trophy or you wanna sport me, baby?"
just like magic
Knowing how effective a trap beat can be, Grande was clever in making sure just like magic gives a similar vibe to In my Head in terms of sound and melody but holds a much different context. Giving more insight into the singer's daily life, the lyrics imply that being a global superstar has had a much larger impact on her personality and relationships.
Favourite lyric: "Swear its tricky at the top, gotta keep a slim ego for a thick wallet"
off the table
It's only taken six years for The Weeknd to duet with the Princess of Pop once again, and they had some big shoes to fill following the huge success of Love Me Harder. Featuring a synth-heavy melody and luxurious strings, off the table is a slow-jam that explores the complexities of a romantic relationship, aided superbly by the pair's unreal vocals.
Favourite lyric: "I can love you harder than I did before, Was in a dark place back then"
After much fan speculation (thanks to perceptive details in the Positions music video), Grande confirmed six thirty after sharing the album's tracklist. Again, the pop star endorses string melodies with a simple R&B beat that feels very similar to the musical arrangement of Grande's Christmas EP (Christmas and Chill). She's no rapper just yet but she definitely gives it a good go in six thirty.
Favourite lyric: "And maybe that's just how it's supposed to be, I'm the release, you the dopamine"
Safety net marks the singer's first collaboration with American singer-songwriter Ty Dolla Sign, who called it "a melodic and amazing tune". Featuring a soft, percussion melody, the pair's vocals blend perfectly in a chilled track that tells all about the anxiety of falling in love.
Favourite lyric: "Oh, sometimes, we have some fallouts, Put some ice on you, girl, let it thaw out"
Ariana's iconic up-do has been the subject of conversation throughout her career, with the singer openly talking about her insecurities regarding her hair. My hair describes how Grande loves a person so much that she's willing to show them her biggest fear. The whistle note key change in the song's final chorus is an impressive highlight.
Favourite lyric: "I want you to touch it softly, Like the way you do my mind"
Nasty has been teased and shared a number of times before Positions was released so fans had been eagerly awaiting this one. Again, the pop star is candid with her sexuality, this track sharing how she craves the attention and touch of her lover. Nasty is naughty with a capital T.
Favourite lyric: "You're like a whole constellation, Swimming like you on vacation"
Layered harmonies and a cheeky trap beat provide goosebumps galore when listening to west side. Grande centres this song around her demands and pickiness when she's in love, implying that the singer likes to be in charge and isn't one to lack nerve when it comes to intimacy and relationships.
Favourite lyric: "Just let me be in your life like that, Be your wife like that"
Fusing a percussion beat and slick strings, love language is a really nice song. In the album's 11th track, Grande illustrates how she is trying to learn her partner's love language so that she can be better within their relationship. It's all about mutual understanding when in love, something that Ariana implies she hasn't had much luck with before.
Favourite lyric: "Treat it like it's Givenchy (Givenchy), it's expensive to taste, Ain't no need to remind ya, it's AG in your face"
What can be said about the album's title track that hasn't already been said? Surely the strongest song on Positions, the pop star shows her commitment to her lover despite her busy work-life balance. Backed up by a fabulously-current music video, positions demonstrates her versatility as an artist and was a brilliant introduction to the AG6 era.
Favourite lyric: "Cookin' in the kitchen and I'm in the bedroom, I'm in the Olympics, way I'm jumpin' through hoops"
We all love it when Ariana uses some snaps (the memorable melody of Be Alright comes to mind, of course) and obvious follows a similar pattern. Blended with a soothing R&B beat, obvious communicates the singer's introversion and excitement when it comes to new relationships.
Favourite lyric: "Hard to think when I'm under you, Tell you all of my dirty truths"
It wouldn't be an Ariana Grande album if there wasn't a dynamic ballad, and pov is it. Featuring a beautiful melody that builds with enchanting moments of strings and percussion, the final track conveys how Grande wishes she could see herself from her lover's point of view in order to understand why they adore her so much (despite her flaws). Ending the album in this fashion was a clever move and closes the door of Positions in a striking way.
Favourite lyric: "You got more than 20/20 babe, Made of glass the way you see through me"