Ariana Grande enriches discography with fifth studio album
Editors express love for pop superstar's new R&B-inspired LP
November 18, 2020
4 No. 1 albums. One Grammy. A multi-platinum and multi-talented artist. How does her latest release compare to her other works?
“[‘Positions’] proves itself an iconic and groundbreaking effort for the artist.”
Ariana Grande’s newest release, “Positions” offers a therapeutic blend of descriptive lyrics and the quest for love and self-exploration.
Released Oct. 30, the album, Grande’s third in two years, proves itself as an iconic and groundbreaking effort for the artist, who shared her enthusiasm on social media.
“This project is my favorite for many reasons and i [sic]really can’t wait for it to be yours,” Grande tweeted. “Thank u for your love and excitement, it means the world to me.”
The album has a more intimate feel than her previous albums. Instead of her music becoming increasingly extreme and pop since “Thank U, Next,” “Positions” takes on a more low-key, calm, picturesque sound with R&B vibes and a nostalgic tone. The album is what “aesthetic” would sound like.
Grande reinvents pop and morphs the genre into something explorative and open. The lyrics are meaningful, impactful and personal, and they tug at the listeners’ emotions.
While Grande had not included any guest artists since “Sweetener” from 2018, “Positions” features three songs with other artists: “Motive” featuring Doja Cat, “Safety Net” featuring Ty Dollar $ign, and “Off the Table” featuring TheWeeknd.
“Off the Table” addresses Grande’s ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, who passed away in 2018. Grande expresses how she feels she might never love anyone as she loved him.
“Positions” track list is as follows:
- “shut up”
- “motive (with Doja Cat)”
- “just like magic”
- “off the table (with TheWeeknd)”
- “six thirty”
- “safety net (feat Ty. Dolla $ign)”
- “my hair”
- “west side”
- “love language”
Grande is pure talent and this album is the chorus to that. “Positions” is perfect in every way from the aesthetics and lyrics to the nostalgic tone and show of vocal range. I 100 percent recommend “Positions” as an album that can help heal its listeners or just be a nice, chill minute for them.
Hi! I'm Catherine and I'm one of the social media managers this year. I enjoy reading, writing, and shows. I'm so excited for this year! XX
One thing to keep in mind: it’s a grower
“Positions” is not Grande’s worst album to date (that’s designated to 2014’s “My Everything”).
Upon first listen, it was a mild disappointment; the songs resembled one another too much, so standouts (the orchestral opener “shut up”; the positive “just like magic”; the addictive first title track (her first single) the suggestive “nasty”; and the introspective closer “pov”) were the only tracks preventing the album from being unmemorable.
A second listen later…
A third listen later…
The difference those listens made at that point because one (just one) track floundered compared to the rest.
Again: “Positions” is not Grande’s worst album to date; it’s one of (if not) her best efforts released in her five-album discography thus far. Sameness was confused for cohesiveness, so the tracks (and their similar sounding instrumentations at times) flow well together. She ensures that the tones of each song match, maintaining a consistency that’s distinct for this particular era of hers.
Grande’s known for giving mainstream audiences (and her loyal fans) catchy songs, and the tracklist on “Positions” maintains that; it’s not hard to suddenly have one of its songs stuck in your head.
She’s a pop/R&B force and legend and superstar continuing to make a name for herself.
She won’t go away.