“Positions” Review

Story posted November 3, 2020 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Emily McGlynn

Just like Ariana Grande’s voice, “Positions” has a light and heavenly sound. This is one of the most sensual albums fans have gotten from her thus far.

“thank you, next” was an album about moving on from relationships and just having fun. Now, though, the singer has settled down again with a boyfriend and is comfortable with him. “positions” is an explicit and honest musical memoir of her new relationship.

The 2020 album consists of 14 songs and 41 minutes of bops. She is exploring her sound more and loosening up about what she discusses in her songs.

Grande has gone the synth pop and acoustic route for “positions.” Songs like “shut up” and “positions” have intricate guitar rounds and she is experimenting more and more with R&B while still sounding like Ariana Grande. Audiences see this on songs like “motive” and “love language.”

Her vocals are still pristine, but fans expect nothing less from her. She does not use her iconic whistle tone riffs as much on the album, though. However, the harmonies are ridiculously good — but when are they not?

The album flows well, too. She sticks to an acoustic R&B sound, which is unique. None of the songs sound like they don’t belong on the album as Grande has always been great about sticking to a specific sound.

Yet, this album almost flows too well that some songs sound the same.

A few big names collaborated with Grande for the album including Doja Cat, The Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign. This is her first album with collaborations since 2018.

“positions” is not particularly PG — just about every song has some type of sexual innuendo, basically explaining to listeners what happens behind closed doors.

“thank u, next” was about regaining her confidence and being herself. Now that she has found herself again, she is ready to share everything with everyone, and some of those things are her sex life. Fans get every detail, even if they asked for it or not. While Grande has made songs like this in the past, she has not made an entire album about it.

Many artists nowadays are making songs surrounding the current political climate. Grande released only one single, “positions,” before dropping the whole album. “positions” has been interpreted in two ways: in a position of power and sex positions. In the music video for the song, scenes alternate from her inside of the White House and being in the kitchen.

While the album is calm and relaxing to listen to, it won’t “wow” listeners. Some might like one or two songs but that will be it. The melodies are not as unique as they have been before. Maybe she wants people to focus on the risqué lyrics — who knows?

However, the topics that are being discussed throughout the album might not reach many people. Radio stations probably can’t play it — not saying that there are curse words being dropped left and right, it’s just that the subject of each song is too ‘inappropriate.’

Many might be disappointed because of how great her last album, “thank u, next” was — hopefully Grande will bounce back.

Rating: 6/10

Reviewer’s favorite song: “positions”

Reviewer’s least favorite songs: “nasty” “six thirty”


Emily McGlynn is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at esm5378@psu.edu.