AOTY 2020

Positions

Ariana Grande - Positions
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2020 Ratings: #698 / 770
User Score
2020 Ratings: #701
Liked by 46 people
October 30, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Republic / Label
R&B, Pop / Genres
Tags
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CRITIC REVIEWS

83
Consequence of Sound

Positions fits neatly in the pop princess’ catalogue and feels like a worthy continuation of her story. The narratives (much like the vocals) are lush, filled with graceful twists and turns, plenty of side characters to keep our attention, and a star worth rooting for.

80
Clash
With 'Positions', Grande has positioned herself comfortably in a genre that she’s all too familiar with.
80
The Line of Best Fit

Positions is Ariana Grande’s most carefree, playful, and mature work to date.

80
Exclaim!

While thank u, next was an album of self-realization, Positions is an album of self-indulgence.

80
PopMatters

Ariana Grande's Positions is a perfect pop album in a very conservative sense of the term.

80
The Observer

With her pleasure-seeking hubris leaving little to the imagination, perhaps it’s unsurprising that the production plays it fairly safe: Grande falls comfortably back on 90s-indebted, trap-speckled R&B, her voice breathy and gleaming.

74
Pitchfork
Her third album in two years searches for peace, tracing the quiet work of piecing yourself together and delighting in giddy new romance at the same time.
70
Rolling Stone

Positions is minor growth, major strength and a solid step forward in the right direction for one pop’s most exciting stars.

67
Entertainment Weekly

It might not make for her most arresting album nor her most dramatic, but it’s certainly her most sensuous.

67
A.V. Club

Positions isn’t a perfect album, but the LP is a more-than-worthy stepping stone to whatever comes next for the artist.

63
Beats Per Minute

The lack of grit, grunge or goo keeps Positions distant from the listener, sitting far away, somewhere in the dark. Grande needs them to listen, but there’s still no emotional dialogue between the two parties or greater insight into the core of the issues that have her, eternally, switch her “positions” for others.

60
Slant Magazine
It might be time for contemporary pop’s reigning vocal acrobat to more fully commit to some new positions.
60
The Telegraph
Ariana Grande leaves her traumas behind with an RnB album dedicated solely to sex – but it doesn’t quite hit the spot.
60
The Independent

She’s likeable and compelling as an artist, even when she’s at her most creatively static, settling on what is comfortable rather than anything slightly dangerous.

60
The Guardian

The tabloids are frothing about the R&B singer’s ‘steamy’ new direction, but her sixth album blurs into one long slow jam.

60
NME

The star's lyrical content is jaw-droppingly good fun, and this sixth record does feature some massive pop tunes – alongside more indistinct material.

60
AllMusic

Maybe this the entire point of Positions--it's meant to be sex music, nothing more, nothing less--but the swift succession of albums suggests that Grande may have been better off slowing her creative process down just enough to help sculpt the album into a soundtrack that has an ebb and flow, instead of a single sustained thrum.

60
Spectrum Culture

The lack of cohesion here could have perhaps been remedied by allowing a bit more time for the music to grow.

50
Sputnikmusic

Listening to positions is a strain on the patience of anyone who enjoys infectious choruses, quality lyrics, or sonic diversity, and it’s easily Ariana Grande’s worst album to date.

50
musicOMH

Once the novelty of hearing about the very healthy state of Ariana’s sex life wears off, there’s not much that’s particularly memorable on Positions.

50
The Needle Drop

What Positions has in sensuality it lacks in the production quality and introspection of a Thank U, Next.

Jazpurz
50
It's about sex and sex is a sin.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says:
"Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

I hope Ariana's fanbase stop enabling her and help her to see that what she is doing is immoral!
Tristan
50
My friend said if I didn't like this record she would kill me...
if I never review again, you all know what happened.
PipePanic
49
Guys.

69 is the sex number.

Holy shit.

Edit: So I listened to the album and...yeah, 69 is still the sex number. Why did no one tell me this sooner?!

Favorite Jams: shut up, love language

Lest Favorite: litterally everything else.
MattsReviews
48
Ah shit, here we go again. AOTY is once again under attack by stans!

Message to the Stans (Real review at the end):
You guys have to understand that scores don't matter, right? This is not the way to show support to your favorite artist. This site has a community and what you're doing is breaching our community for someone else's gain, when that "gain" doesn't really give them anything. Also if you didn't already know, one person is running this site. Yes, just 1 person. What you're ... read more
Doublez
58
It may seem ironic, but although Ariana Grande's life seems to be full of stability and love these last few months, the rendering of her new album Positions remains much less interesting and much less profound than her previous ones. There is no better adjective than "comfort" for Positions. A hard to avoid easy solution that will content itself with satisfying the majority of its fans and making an impression in a year where the codes are no longer the same.

Beware, I prefer to ... read more
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Year End Lists

#20/Uproxx
#22/Rolling Stone
#36/Complex

Track List

  1. shut up
  2. 34+35
  3. motive (feat. Doja Cat)
  4. just like magic
  5. off the table (feat. The Weeknd)
  6. six thirty
  7. safety net (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
  8. my hair
  9. nasty
  10. west side
  11. love language
  12. positions
  13. obvious
  14. pov
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Added on: October 21, 2020