Album Review: Positions by Ariana Grande

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Ariana Grande is an American singer and songwriter from Florida. She has also had a few acting roles such as some roles in Nickelodeon shows. She released her first album, Yours Truly back in 2013 and has gained popularity and fame since. She has won several awards and has been a speaker for several different people. Positions marks her sixth studio album.

The first track from the album is shut up. The track starts out with a quick string introduction. After the quick introduction is done, the strings are still there, but there’s definitely more plucking involved for the rest of the track. You do get Ariana’s sweet, melodic, and almost whisper-like vocals. The title and chorus of the track seem to take aim at critics and people disliking her music. While the music sounds ‘sophisticated’ as she puts it, she said she wants the lyrics to be a little more fun and laid back.

34+35 is another track that has the same string instrumentals thrown in there. It’s definitely not the main focus of the track, there are definitely more pop instrumentals and features in there compared to the previous track. If you do the math from the track title, you can see that the main equation equals 69, which pretty much should be self-explanatory for what the track is going to talk about. Honestly, the track does seem pretty laughable at times, but I guess she can talk about whatever she wants to talk about.

motive is another sub-three minute track, and also features Doja Cat. This is definitely a more danceable and enjoyable track from the album. There is a small little groove part during the chorus of the track which definitely makes the track that much better. Doja Cat is a strange addition to the track since their voices are polar opposites, but the instrumental makes up for it. Lyrically, Ariana Grande is trying to find out what this person’s motive is and what they want from her.

just like magic opens up with high pitched synth arpeggios. Once the track keeps going on, you can definitely tell this is similar to what Ariana Grande would sing over, so the instrumentals aren’t that off of what you would expect from her. Based on the lyrics of the track, it seems like she’s bragging about herself and definitely thinks highly of herself. She talks about how she is able to get almost everything she wants because she’s attractive.

off the table was one of the tracks that I was looking forward to since it features The Weeknd. Besides the slow instrumentals opening up the track, it definitely feels like a The Weeknd track with the different instrumentals involved in there. You have the long drawn out strings with some other electronic notes sprinkled in there. Not trying to diss on Ariana Grande much on this review, but he does bring a lot of interesting additions to the track.

six thirty opens up a bit difference. When the beat opened up, it did seem minimalistic, and it seemed like it was setting it up to be a trap-infused beat. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t when the track opened up, but the beat that did come out of it wasn’t too bad. The beat is even growing on me so I guess that’s a plus. A lot of fans were quick to point out a lot of 6:30 references in videos, but she talks about if you’re down like six thirty, since both of the hands on the clock are pointing down.

safety net brings us a vocal feature from Ty Dolla $ign. The instrumental isn’t that much new, however, it seems like there are a lot of inaudible vocal features that are sprinkled in the background. It sounds like Ariana and Ty Dolla $ign are putting down their barriers on this track and talk about some of their weaknesses. They seem to talk about a relationship and giving it their all. However, they don’t know if it is going to work.

my hair brings us to a relaxed, slowed down guitar track. It honestly reminds me of some elements of the lo-fi hip hop you see on YouTube or Spotify. I also enjoy the soft and sweet instruments that are thrown in there at different parts. This is a very personal track for Ariana, especially since she used to keep the high ponytail as her signature look. She just recently changed it up and let her hair run free instead of having it in the ponytail. It sounds like she is about to have an intimate moment with this person and will let them feel her hair.

I’m a bit surprised at what nasty had in store. At first it had this wavy sound-bit to open the track, and then had a pseudo trap beat. It’s a bit entrancing at first, but as always, it’s just something that glazes over on the album. This is another track from Ariana Grande where she seems to be getting a little more personal and talking about her flirtatious side. She talks about wanting to get ‘nasty’ with this person tonight, and I’ll leave you decide what she means by that.

west side is one of the shortest tracks on the album, and it’s just a little over two minutes in length. It’s not saying much since most of the tracks are below three minutes, but it managed to make the cut. This track also incorporates the ‘wavy’ sound I was talking about on the previous track. I don’t really mind it, but the track doesn’t really have that much to offer, other than her layers of vocal harmonies. She talks about how this person should show up and be there for her.

love language offers more excitement and some string melodies at the very beginning of the track. After the introduction, you just get your more usual pop sounds. The strings are still there, however, they just aren’t at the forefront of the track. When the strings are playing on the track, they definitely don’t disappoint and it brings back the feeling we’ve had at the beginning of the album. Ariana’s voice also fits perfectly over this.

After that we have the title track, positions. I listened to this single when it came out and it actually made me excited for the album. However, I wasn’t exactly pleased with what I’ve heard from the album. At least this is one high hitting and high energy track from the album. As people have suggested before, the word ‘positions’ has several different meanings in this track. You can also see how it plays a different role in the music video.

obvious is another short track on the album. The one thing I don’t like is that there isn’t really much going on in this track, which makes this another forgettable track. While I wanted to enjoy this track, it just doesn’t deliver after being the track, positions. If it was placed elsewhere on the album, it would have potential, but easily forgettable after being the main single. After having an emotional few years with a few different exes, this track is about Ariana believing in love again.

The last track from the album is pov, which I assume stands for point of view based on the lyrics from the track. This is another minimalistic track instrumentally, but we do have some string instruments that are sprinkled throughout here. As I’ve said before, this track stands for point of view, and Ariana wants to see how her partner views her. It’s strange to explain it, however, she knows that this new person she is with really loves her.

I really wanted to enjoy this album, but I guess I was a bit disappointed and had high hopes based on the lead single. Other than that, most tracks on this album were very forgettable, with the exception for a few tracks.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Favorite Tracks: motive, off the table, safety net, love language, positions

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