Ariana Grande retains her position at the top of the charts with new album

In her sixth studio album, Grande expresses her signature sassy, playful femininity that her fan base repeatedly laps up.

Amidst the first quarantine, as the world came to a sudden stand-still, Ariana Grande graced us with two perfectly wonderful collaborations, “Stuck With U” featuring Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga’s “Rain On Me”. Nearly six months later, Grande has returned with her 14-track album, “Positions”.

Grande, known for exploring, and celebrating her past and present relationships through the medium of song, yet again indulges her fresh romance with Dalton Gomez – making the newest addition to her discography nothing shy of x-rated. Similar to her previous work, catchy rhythms are the focal point of her music, so much so that you almost don’t hear her intimate, racy lyrics. 

Less than ideally, the 27-year-old’s fan base largely includes young teenagers, who are more than likely to belt the lyrics of this 14-track album, without realising the nature of what they’re singing.  For her more mature fan base however, the subliminal, sexual messages are entirely transparent, which allows those that wish to, to express their femininity, and flirtatiousness alongside Grande. 

“Positions”, the pre-released single soared to the top of charts ahead of the album’s release. Grande’s flirtatious confidence through an extremely catchy beat proves the singer is not ready to concede her rule over the pop scene yet. 

Although nine of the fourteen tracks have earned a place in the Global Top 50, “positions” is below par in comparison with her previous records.

By now, we all recognise Grande’s vocal range as nothing less than stellar, but this is familiar to us, it’s expected. Yet while her Mariah Carey-like whistle tones are always welcomed, to surpass the mark she’s already hit numerous times, the audience needs to hear something fresher, a new subject, or perhaps a new perspective on a previously explored subject. 

Both born out of personal trauma, Grande’s previous two albums, “sweetener”, and “thank u, next” bear far more emotion, and personality than that of “positions”. 

While the overall content of this album is far more upbeat, fans who have waited just over eighteen months since the release of these albums, are met with primarily meaningless melodies. There are little songs on this album that have solid substance. 

In an almost decade long singing career, Grande has worked with a multitude of artists. “Positions” gives the soloist another three collaborations under her belt. 

Perhaps one of the catchiest songs from this album is “motive (with Doja Cat)”, regrettably it’s one of the only songs that has a definite chorus to it. This collaboration is fun, the chorus isn’t easily forgettable, and you’ll find yourself singing along to the lyrics by the second listen.

Following the success of their initial collaboration “Love Me Harder”, Grande reunites with The Weeknd on “off the table”, a seductive tune. However, this is one of the flatter songs on the album, there is no clear structure to this song, and ultimately falls short of expectations succeeding their first song. 

Essentially, there is nothing ground-breaking about Grande’s latest release “positions”. We’re presented with monotonous themes, and little structure. That’s not to say the singer is on a downwards spiral, rather stuck in a lyrical rut. 

Emma Costigan

Image Credit: Ariane Grande Wiki Fandom