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Ariana Grande is Just a Girl Having Fun in ‘Positions’
CREDIT: Dave Meyers
Album of The Day

Ariana Grande is Just a Girl Having Fun in ‘Positions’ 

Instead of breaking new grounds, the millennial diva decides to let loose and sing her groove out

While Ms. Grande is no stranger to haste release (her last two LPs ‘Sweetener’ and ‘Thank U, Next’ are ‘only’ six months apart), something about the quick launch of ‘Positions’ initially seemed more unreasonable than ever.

First of all, her latest effort ‘Thank U, Next’ is such a monumental milestone for Grande’s very colorful career, a typical artist would have taken a breather and spent longer time figuring out her next power move, Adele-style. Secondly, some would even claim that looking at her hastiness, this latest offering might have the potential of being comparatively subpar. Now that the world has listened to the whole 14 tracks and 41 minutes, for better or worse, such concern has proven to be true. While ‘Positions’ is opaquely pale in comparison to ‘Thank U, Next’, this particular record is where Grande is having the most bombastic blast.

The album concept is very simple: the whole 14 tracks are about Grande letting loose, enjoying life’s simplicity, and halts anything equivalent to overthinking. More often than not, Grande takes the concept far too literal than it should have. Out of 14 tracks, more than half of them only ‘cost’ the listeners less than three minutes. The lyrics are the most straightforward Grande has delivered if not slightly half-baked. The fact that such simplistic tracks were carried forward and produced by an enormous village is stunning if not mildly head-scratching (one of the shorter tracks “My Hair” was written by Grande and six other songwriters). At least on the surface, the whole LP seems–and feels–like a missed opportunity, akin to a contractual obligation as opposed to a burst of creative explosion.

That being said, despite whatever’s lacking in terms of quality and originality, ‘Positions’ is a hella fun album. Grande is completely grooving with herself with sexy, sassy tunes such as “Positions”, “34+35”, “Off the Table”, and “Love Language”. This time she finds challenging partners an exciting excursion as opposed to a usual headache (“Motive”, “Nasty”) and emotional vulnerability as deep and sacred as impromptu bedroom foreplay (“POV”, “Safety Net”). Grande is either dancing wildly in her living room or jumping in ecstasy in her bedroom. Not a bad way to spend the longest weekend ever, especially for an empowered songstress who has proven her armor.

Finally, there’s a good chance that music lovers would appreciate ‘Positions’ better than music critics. Sometimes the imperfection is what makes a record the ultimate jam catalog of the year. Looking at the endurance of ‘Positions’ and its tracks on the global charts, perhaps being serious or not, Grande is always a force to be reckoned with. When an artist delivers massive result without really trying, that is usually a sign of a genius hit-maker.

+ ‘Positions’ is a fun, delightful escapism with unlimited volume of pop, old school R&B, and Ariana Grande’s signature riffs and whistles
– In a long run, ‘Positions’ might not be Grande’s most memorable pop venture

“Positions”, “Motive” (with Doja Cat), “34+35”


Felix Martua is a writer, editor, traveler, curator, and cataloger for music, entertainment, and all things pop culture. He can be reached at martuafelix00@gmail.com

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