Ariana Grande released her sixth studio album Positions on the last day of October 2020, just a couple of days before the US presidential elections that has been in focus all over the world this year more than ever.
And though Grande had previously made some very clear stances on a number of social issues, this time she took a different path. Read on to know what we really think of this new bop!
Parental guidance is advised.
Now if you are under 18, we will kindly ask you to leave this page and go do your school homework, because the rest of this article might be slightly inappropriate for the underage audience. Just kidding. You can stay because you have probably already listened to the album anyway.
But yes, if you still haven’t caught on from the album title or some absolutely unsubtle lyrics, this album talks sex. Lots of it.
Naturally, music critics and tabloids wouldn’t leave this unnoticed and jumped onto the opportunity straight away.
Some condemned Grande’s lack of lyrical prowess and expressed concern regarding her younger fans and their parents.
Others perceived the new album as a sign of the artist overcoming or at least tackling her personal issues that were more prominent on the previous album.
The album in a nutshell
Grande had indeed suffered from PTSD and depression following the tragedy of Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. Over a hundred people who came to see her concert died and were injured.
And while critics and fans may keep guessing whether the line “love letters to heaven” from Just Like Magic is in any way connected with her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller who passed away several months after their breakup in 2018, the artist is clearly trying to come to terms with love.
What was more unanimously assessed by reviewers is the music and the vocal performance on the album.
Many mentioned that Positions took the tried formula of the old-fashioned R&B slow jam of the 90s, twitched it slightly at places, and added some breathy vocals to play it safe.
However, not the entirety of the album takes place in the bedroom (or kitchen, or the backseat of your car—whatever your preferences, no judgement here).
Off The Table, Safety Net, and POV deal with some pretty serious insights, but run the risk of being overlooked amidst all the “math” of 34+35. The first two songs feature collaborations with two prominent male artists, the Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign, respectively. Their contribution will be largely evaluated based on whether you like these particular artists or not.
Whether the entire album concept was to shift Grande’s image from her previous persona of a former kid TV star bravely carrying on after a tragedy or just lazy songwriting also remains a point of speculation.
So what’s the overall verdict, pass or fail?
The rule of thumb here would be if you are into the slow R&B tracks, go for it. However if you’re more into some vibrant pop music, just hang on until Grande’s next release.
With her prolificacy of having created six albums within seven years of career, you very likely won’t have to wait for long.