Ariana Grande has released her sixth studio album, Positions, with a totally different sound. Our current Pop Princess has ventured into a completely different territory of an R&B mixture, with hints of jazz, hip-hop, soul, and dance music.
And, for those of us in The Sound Matrix, that kind of diversity suits her voice so beautifully. Beginning with her first album, the artistic progression of Ariana Grande has grown into a fully formed artist, to the point where she is free to take full control of her sound.
From My Everything and Yours Truly, to Dangerous Woman, we see Ariana Grande grow into that “dangerous woman.” Things change from there. As if the child star from Victorious broke the mold of that “Cat” persona and became a woman in her music career.
Ariana Grande has grown as an artist with her last three albums: Sweetener; Thank U, Next; and now Positions. During that time, she has been able to tell a full story with each album.@AmxndaReviews
Sweetener was a healing album for her fans, Thank U, Next was her album to heal personally. Now Positions feels like a completely new chapter–like freedom.
Positions is a well-rounded album with great compositions and well-written lyrics. Grande mixes in her vulnerability, confidence, and sex appeal to make a slow jams album. Yet, you can play Positions at any hour of the day.
This is an album that will have you bopping along with some songs and crying with others. The flow is organized like a budding relationship. Each track on the album captures emotions perfectly. Together, they tell a full story of accepting love from a person who genuinely loves you for who you are, even if you can’t understand it.
Let’s Break Down Ariana Grande and All the Positions
Track 1: “shut up”
This is a weak opener. Lyrically, it doesn’t really do much. It’s quite catchy when it gets to the hook, which is when she beautifully tells her listeners to shut up. It can be interpreted that Ariana Grande is telling people who always have something negative to say about her.
Whether in public or her personal life, the haters can stop talking because Grande has a solid circle of people around her that she loves and trusts.
The song fades out into an jazzy fairytale tune, which plays into the fantasy that everything is going well. Then, the last couple of seconds becomes dark and gloomy, further proving that life isn’t a fairytale, no matter who you are.
Track 2: 34+35
Time to cover your eyes (and ears) children. The grown-ups are about to have a conversation. I’m sure by the time you have finished reading this sentence, you would have added up the numbers to find out what they equal. (Math is hard.)
Ariana Grande is slick and the lyrics for this fiery tune, sure do hold up. From the giggle at the beginning, to saying that she won’t be paying attention to the movie, to hoping that her “bae” can stay up all night… we know what Ari is hinting at and that’s only Track 2 of an album that has some great “moody” tracks. The third verse will leave people stunned because she just goes all out.
Track 3: motive (feat. doja cat)
This upbeat dance track will grow on you as you listen repeatedly. This can be interpreted as the “mixed signals” song because she’s asking, “What’s your motive?” And this is before she even tries to get into this relationship, so what are the intentions?
Doja Cat is also a perfect feature for this track because her voice matches with Ariana Grande so well. The song is about discovering what the other person wants. Are they being honest with you? Do they want the same thing you do?
Subliminal messages are fun but Grande questions them because I’m sure we’ve all gotten hurt, just like she has.
Track 4: just like magic
For all the boss men and women out there, this song reminded me of “successful,” which is on her fourth studio album Sweetener. Ariana Grande explains her daily routine with an upbeat, hip-hop rhythm. The song is all about manifesting good things and having a positive attitude.
There are affirmations throughout this uplifting song. As the hook comes with the “middle finger to my thumb, and then I snap it,” you feel it. This song has a warm vibe to it, so it’s a good listen on those tough days.
Track 5: off the table (feat. the weeknd)
This track gave me chills. Ariana Grande and The Weeknd have collaborated before on “Love Me Harder” but knowing what both have gone through their own dramatic relationships, this track is too emotional for words.
This song questions a former love interest if they are still an option. Even if they’re in a relationship, they both pose the heartbreaking question.
This is a song that hits you in your feels. It is a song to keep on the backburner if you need a good cry. It’s completely stunning but incredibly hard to get through.
Track 6: six thirty
This was unexpected because it’s a song that grows on you about that “x month mark” in a “relationship.” That is, before your partner pops the question to be your exclusive boy or girlfriend. At this point, you know your partner well and, if you’re going to leave or stay. That’s when Ariana Grande asks, “Are you down, what’s up?” It’s 6:30 when the sun sets, so it’s sundown. A great play on words in the song lyrically, which you can expect throughout this melody.
Track 7: safety net (feat. ty dolla $ign)
This was an interesting listen because you realize feelings you didn’t realize were there. It’s an unexpected twist, just as Ty Dolla $ign comes in and changes the sound of the song in such a fantastic way. Their voices meshed so well. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.
Ariana Grande talks about feelings that she can’t ignore. She’s falling without a safety net. “Is it real or is it in my head” impressed me most because we all tend to manifest w what we wish were real.
Many remain guarded in a relationship, which is why this is “scared” track of the album. With this song, the “what if” scenarios you have encountered will pop back into your head and whisk you away into those feelings again.
Track 8: my hair
This tune begins with a slow guitar strum then becomes a late ’80s melody, both sweet and sexy. There’s Ariana Grande asking her partner to run his hands through her hair. The most impressive aspect of this song is the runs she does with her voice in the final chorus. The whistle notes are mind-blowing, which elevate the song to the point of an outer body experience. She knew exactly what she wanted to do with this song, and it is the “wanting someone so badly” track on the album.
Track 9: nasty
Goodnight children. This track is not for you.
No words for this one. It’s a total jam. Ariana sounds amazing and is asking exactly for what she wants. There are many layers to this song, and her voice is stunning.
The analogies are beautifully written. There is this sexy vulnerability that comes out in these verses, like she wants to say what is on her mind. Yet, there is this sense of embarrassment to talk about it. It’s an expression of desire and lust in the sweetest way possible.
Track 10: west side
This is a total R&B vibe, as Ariana Grande yearns to be the only girl in her future bae’s life. She has so much to offer and has no idea why this hopeful relationship is taking so long. In the song, she tells him that she can love him like no one else and that she has already offered so much of herself.
This is definitely the “yearning” track on the album. You could feel her emotions so clearly in this one and it really is beautiful. Another song that will grow on you unexpectedly as it did for me.
Track 11: love language
Now this is a dance party song. It is upbeat, energetic, and fun. You can almost hear a ’70s party vibe. In the song, she expresses multiple ways to tell your partner that you love them. And it’s not only the way they talk to their partner.
It can be the little things they do for you or around you. Things you might notice. It’s a sweet song.
It means that you’re completely in tune with your partner and that sometimes words don’t need to be said. The ending of the song leaves an unexpected surprise. Admittedly, it feels out of place, but it works.
Track 12: positions
The title track is positioned perfectly with the rest of the tracks on the album. Ariana grows with her partner and we hear how the relationship blossoms. She wants to meet their family and constantly surprise them with how versatile she can be. It’s really a wholesome song that is definitely mixed with a nice little message that everyone can understand. It was the obvious choice to be the first single off this album and it completely works.
Track 13: obvious
The song is obvious (pun intended). Here, Ariana Grande lays everything out for her partner, saying that she’s loyal and wants him to always be there. She wants to tell him but is too infatuated with him. Her fear prevents her from communicating. Are her little hints enough? We find out fast because this song is surprisingly short.
It is one of the best songs on the album. It brings back that wave of butterflies you feel when you really want to be with someone, but you’re too afraid to tell them. How she managed to capture that in a song is wild to me.
Track 14: pov
What a closer for our girl. This is the most emotional song on the album. It is impossible to get through this song without tearing up. The lyrics are beautifully written about loving herself through the eyes of her partner because she doesn’t see herself the way he sees her.
It is a song to give you hope that one day you will find the person who can make you feel that way and love you like that.
Positions is a beautiful album through and through. It has a specific vibe and it definitely has adult only content but like Ariana has grown, her fans have grown with her so it’s only necessary that she writes music that speaks to everyone. It is unique, just like her. Ariana Grande’s voice has never sounded so stunning. She has truly played to her strengths with this album and she has never sounded more like herself.