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Ariana Grande - Positions

  by Zena Grieg

published: 22 / 12 / 2020

Ariana Grande - Positions
Label: Universal Music
Format: CD


Playful but solid and distinctive pop and R and B on sixth album from Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s fourth album in two years, ‘Positions’ combines the mellow tranquillity of ‘Sweetener’ and the 2019 follow-up ‘Thank U, Next’ with a kind of letting loose. The album is heavily influenced by Grande’s new relationship with LA estate agent Dalton Gomez, with whom she was quarantining as she wrote songs for the album during lockdown. It is imprinted by a straightforward, unsubtle attitude to sexuality and is rooted firmly in a blend of pop and R&B. There are powerful, slow R&B jams as well as cameos from rappers Doja Cat on the electro house ‘Motive’, The Weeknd on the somnolent ‘Off the Table’ and harmonising with Ty Dolla Signon on ‘Safety Net’, a song about vulnerability, apprehension and surrender. Memorable tracks in this sixth album by Grande include the opener ‘Shut Up’, where Grande takes aim at her critics: “You know you sound so dumb (So dumb)/So maybe you should shut up, mmm” with its swirling string crescendo; the jazzy ‘My Hair’, Grande’s voice raspy and orgasmic ringing throughout; the funky, disco track ‘Love Language’; the lead single and title track ‘Positions’, a slick mix of pop, hip-hop and R&B featuring plucked guitar and violin; and ‘POV’, an R&B ballad with an understated arrangement accompanied by cello and viola, its lyrics expressing insecurity while proclaiming a fresh optimism: “I’m getting used to receiving/Still getting good at not leaving.” ‘Positions’ is a more sensuous album than its predecessors. Languorous in movement, it shows off Grande’s lyricism, interspersed with playful jibes and wordplays around sex. It is a solid vehicle for Grande’s strong and agile voice and distinctive style.

Track Listing:-
1 shut up
2 34+35
3 motive
4 just like magic
5 off the table
6 six thirty
7 safety net
8 my hair
9 nasty
10 west side
11 love language
12 positions
13 obvious
14 pov

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