Ariana Grande re-establishes her “Position” on the top charts


Photographer: WireImage

Photo retrieved by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Liam Hayward, Editor

After a year packed with two successful albums, both just six months apart, pop artist Ariana Grande took a short break from releasing new music, and focused on touring. In 2020, Grande came back into the music scene with her sixth studio album release titled, “Positions.” This soulful r&b/pop album made waves, as well as topping charts; and for good reason too. 

“Positions” provides a relatively new sound for Grande, at least recently. It has reminiscent tones of her early albums, like “My Everything” and “Yours Truly.” The album is fun and lighthearted for the most part, ultimately providing closure and progression from her previous album, “Thank U, Next.” The 14 track album highlights her new love, moving on from her past as well as expressing herself and her sexuality. It also features three collabs, including the likes of Doja Cat, Ty Dolla Sign and The Weeknd.

The empowering album is mainly produced by Tommy Brown, as well as Steven Franks. Brown also helped produce a few of the tracks on “thank u, next” and “Sweetener.” Some of the instrumentals are similar to her previous two albums, following a trap/pop genre, which has been a critique from some. The instrumentals are simplified in this album, however, as Grande wanted to focus more on vocals in this album rather than making a beat-driven song. 

The album references multiple lines and details from her older albums, helping push her message of ‘moving on.’ Grande said in an interview on the “Zach Sang Show,” that “Positions” is meant to “continue her story” of her evolution. This can be seen in her reference to emotional baggage from her song “ghostin,” which is repeated in her newer song “pov.” Grande evolves from saying that it will be hard to love her due to her past traumas and baggage, to later exclaiming how her baggage is “fadin’ safely.”

Alongside her album and tracks, Grande provided her fans with visuals and music videos. Prior to her album’s release, Grande released a music video for her single, “Positions.” In the video, she plays multiple important roles in the White House, which served as a political statement as well as an empowering message for women. 

After my first listen, I can’t say that I was in love with the album. It was good, however I didn’t feel it compared to her previous bodies of work. The vocals are beautiful as always, but the production felt recycled, and the melodic structure of many songs felt off. I had a few songs that were immediate hits for me, but also a few misses. After listening to the album more, and starting to further understand its composure, I grew to love it. My favorite songs include “safety net”, “pov” and “motive.” 

Overall, I think “positions” is a really good album. While it isn’t my favorite body of work from Grande, it is nowhere near her worst. I have grown to like almost every song on the album, and it is always a good choice to play whether you’re driving around, or anytime you just need to listen to some music. Grande rarely fails to deliver a hit, and this album further proves that. Her breathtaking vocals and relatable lyrics make her songs that much more attractive, and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us in the future.