Ariana Grande - Positions
Aug 17, 2021
Ariana Grande Butera Gomez is one of the most successful artists of the 2010’s. Finding her passion for music after leaving Nickelodeon in 2014, she made it to the top of the billboard charts within months of her singing career’s kickoff. Over her entire career, Ari has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Pharrell, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, and ofcourse, Mac Miller. After five albums full of nostalgic 2010’s hits, Ari has genuinely enhanced her greatness over time. She has been able to sell out full stadiums across the entire world. After having a remarkable three album run with Dangerous Woman, Sweetener, and Thank U, Next(just six months after Sweetener), Ariana proved that she is here to stay and her fans were loving it. For Positions, well, that’s a different story.

The album rollout was hype to the maximum. Ari tweeted on October 14, “i can’t wait to give u my album this month”. The internet obviously exploded. The leadup single ended up coming out on the 23rd. That’s when we were introduced to the banger itself “Positions”. The track that shares the album title wiped the Billboard charts to the ground. With yet another number one song, Ariana was at the top of the world once again. A week later, Ariana dropped the long-awaited album on Halloween-eve. Positions is NOT what people expected. Even after hitting #1 on the charts globally, the project received a lot of criticism and hate. Many people still don’t like it to this day. I get that it’s not for everyone. It doesn't remind the fans of the sweet and harmless person Ariana has always been. After making an album like Thank U, Next, I don’t blame her for changing her style. Sweetener was a good album, but it didn’t express how she was REALLY feeling. I’m basically saying she didn’t bounce back yet. Thank U, Next was Ari telling the truth about everything going on. Her past couple years were not easy. The Manchester Terrorist Attack and the death of Mac Miller killed her inside. That was the album where she was completely honest with herself. It definitely sounds like I’m saying Thank U, Next is her best, but that’s not the case. I’m gonna stop rambling and talk about Positions now.

Positions is dazzling, bright, confident, clever, and an overall accomplishment. I remember sitting there listening to the album at midnight knowing how amazing it was. I’m thrilled that it clicked on the first listen. Ari has never sounded so classy in her career. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to do a track by track explanation for the entire album. The story of the album will make more sense.

The album starts with the confident “shut up”. This is the only track I’ll explain individually. Hearing something like this from Ariana made me surprised. She made it very clear that the person mentioned sounds so dumb and should just shut up. She took an approach where she just didn’t care what anyone thinks. It’s definitely not a song that you’d click on randomly on a playlist and listen to. It’s kind of like an unmarked interlude. I think it’s pretty easy for anyone who listens to Ariana to spot that the production was a big change for her. Nothing she’s made in the past has made me shiver like this did. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Shut up transitions into a whole new vibe for the album. 34+35, motive, and just like magic come out of nowhere. The energetic run was great and all, but there's something that made people really pay attention. It was very, um, sex-related. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. 34+35 in particular was an eye opener. These tracks vividly express a sexual relationship with the partner described. I was obsessed with the vibe of these songs. They are quality pop tracks that sound amazing. All three of these tracks now have over 80-million plays on Spotify alone. They are definitely the most accessible songs for anyone who wants the fun pieces of this album.

Now, we get into my favorite three-track run Ari has ever made: Off The Table, Six Thirty, and Safety Net. Ariana questions her relationship in this utterly majestic run. She is able to express her flaws, insecurities, and sadness perfectly. You can feel her pain if you just pay attention. It’s fascinating to see a pop artist able to make R&B songs so well. For people who love The Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign as much as I do, you’ll understand how much I love this trio of songs. Six Thirty is definitely one of Ari’s most slept-on songs. It’s not groundbreaking, but it fits well with the album. It seems like a cool off due to the fascinating tracks it’s in the middle of. Perfection is an understatement when it comes to the remarkable Off the Table and Safety Net. They are the only songs she’s ever made that really touched my heart. I listened to them at 4am in the dark with noise cancelling headphones. I have never, ever, EVER had an experience like that in my entire life. My whole body shivers. Ari’s chemistry with Ty and Abel is beyond captivating. Personally, I have been debating between which song I prefer. To be honest, they are so interchangeable. There is not one flaw about either song. I can go on for hours about how beautiful the production and vocals are for these tracks in particular.

My Hair, Nasty, and West Side bring the past two parts of the album into one. That smooth R&B vibe hits without all the emotions kicking in. She’s never made R&B quite like this. You can get the same energy from artists like Summer Walker, Jhene Aiko and Kehlani. They usually make fun R&B songs while keeping it lowkey. That’s exactly what Ari does here. The songs are full of high-class production. Ari finally seems to be acknowledging her relationship and expresses what she wants to get from it.

Love Language and Positions bring that same energy that we got from Just Like Magic and Motive. Ari has fully acknowledged the relationship she’s in, and she’s explaining what she’ll do for her partner(like switching the positions). Positions means two things: Ari will be hard working outside, and inside(if you know, you know).

Obvious and POV end the album on a high note. Obvious is a mix of pop and R&B. From all the opinions I’ve heard about this album, not many people talk about this track. It definitely deserves more love. POV is just POV. Listen to it and you’ll understand. It’s beautiful. Ari finally seems to be all in with her relationship and is happy where she’s at in her life. She truly loves her partner.

Ari has been able to prove that she has one of the most enchanting yet effortless voices in music. Before you listen to the album, I STRONGLY recommend watching the Vevo live performances. Off The Table and Safety Net were already amazing as I mentioned, but they became so much more for me when I saw the videos for them. My body shakes at any moment of ear candy(aka almost every single moment of both videos). It’s been almost nine months since the album's release, and I still have it in heavy rotation. This was absolutely flawless. I am 100% satisfied.

Track Ratings
1shut up / 85
234+35 / 97
3motive / 90
4just like magic / 89
5off the table / 99
6six thirty / 91
7safety net / 100
8my hair / 100
9nasty / 95
10west side / 93
11love language / 88
12positions / 100
13obvious / 92
14pov / 100
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More Reviews by Ryannn
Ariana Grande - thank u, next
Nov 27, 2021
Ariana Grande - Sweetener
Jan 4, 2022
Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
Dec 5, 2021
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