Ariana Grande Releases Playful New Album, ‘Positions’


Mei Dotzler, Reporter

On October 30th, Ariana Grande released her sixth studio album Positions — a raunchy and risque album that taps into her provocative side, giving explicit details of her romantic life but also discussing the trial and error of learning to trust again.

Unlike Grande’s last album, thank u, next, a mournful ode to her ex Mac Miller following the tragic news of his passing, Positions tells a story about a broken woman piecing herself together. After surviving a deadly attack in Manchester on her 2017 Dangerous Woman tour, Miller’s unexpected death, and a high-profile break-up with ex-fiancee Pete Davidson, Positions is Grande’s way of searching for peace in a new lighthearted romance, and of course making sexual innuendos along the way.

Ariana Grande’s title track ‘Positions’ debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

Grande opens with a soulful, harmonious track “shut up”, an ultimate eff you to all her incorrigible critics, then immediately follows up with “34+35”, the most sexually liberating song on the album with an obvious underlining meaning if you add up the numbers. More flirty, poppy tracks like “nasty”, “positions” and “six thirty” are straightforward in their message of wanting to get down and dirty anytime, any place. But in deep contrast, “off the table” featuring The Weeknd addresses her serious fear of commitment, crying out in the stunning ballad “Will I ever love the same way again?”

With “motive” featuring Doja Cat and “safety net” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Grande shares vulnerability and hesitance with new relationships, her trust almost permanently stained by old flames. But in “my hair”, Grande is simply allowing her precious hair to be stroked by someone she deems worthy of such a luxury. Arguably the best song on the album, “pov” highlights Grande’s rawest sound, begging to see herself as her partner does, belting out “I want to trust me the way that you trust me” and “I want to love me the way that you love me.”

Grande behind the scenes of her music video, ‘Positions’, released on Oct. 30th

Though this album was released on the night of the 2nd Presidential Debate and only 5 days before the election, Ariana had difficulty figuring out if it was considered the wrong time. “It was hard for me to differentiate between, ‘Is this an inappropriate time to release because of the state of the world?’” she said. “Or, ‘Is this the appropriate time to release because it’s going to make a lot of people feel something bright and something better and be uplifting to people?’” Ultimately deciding that her album could be a source of comfort, she went with the latter. “I was like, ‘You know what, everyone is aware of what’s happening—I’m aware of what’s happening—and this is also my job at the end of the day. I know that in my heart this will make a lot of people feel something good.’”

While being equal amounts of promiscuous and vulnerable, Grande does an exceptional job at delivering catchy and passionate songs, adding to her stellar repertoire with untouchable albums like Sweetener and Dangerous Woman. While she didn’t give us anything “new” per se, she gave us what she always does: a classic R&B record that showcases her illustrious whistle tone that exudes her impending title of “greatest vocalist of the 20th century”.