Why Ariana Grande’s “Positions” Saved 2020

Sarah Vacca, Contributing Writer

The hype for Ariana Grande’s sixth studio album “Positions” was huge leading up to its release date on October 30th. Since its release, the album has seen significant chart success, with the self-titled lead single from the album sitting at the number one spot on the Billboard Top 100 Chart since its release on October 23rd. Immediately after the album’s release, every single song reached Spotify’s top 200. Regardless of streams, this album has received a mixed reception from her fans who believe that it is not as good as her previous album, “Thank U, Next”. Deemed a “flop” by her stans, fans believe that this album is repetitive and boring. 

Thank U, Next was a fantastic album, but Positionshas Ariana Grande back in the average pop territory,’ says @angel_gabri3l on Twitter. “Sass, swagger, and empowerment replaced by a not-so-subtle sexy love theme. It’s not bad. It’s not good either. Clearly, Ari is smitten.”

The consensus from Grande’s fan base is that “Thank U, Next” was her best album and now that she is happy in her relationship with Dalton Gomez, an LA area real estate agent, her music has taken a step back. This is a horrible take and I will explain why. 

The album is amazing. There is no way around it. The album opens up with the song “Shut Up”. This song is filled with Disney princess-esque beats and instrumentals as well as beautiful and sassy lyrics and vocals. As the album continues it shows a more sexy side to Grande that she has not shown in previous albums. In “Safety Net” we hear an absolutely stunning song that explains the fear of falling in love after a heartbreak. Grande sings alongside Ty Dolla $ign whose voice is perfectly complementary to hers. “Safety Net” is undoubtedly the best feature on the album, although it charts lower than both “Off The Table” featuring The Weekend, and “Motive” featuring Doja Cat. The album ends with “POV”, an intense song about the desire to love yourself just as much as someone in your life loves you. This song is relatable and emotional and the perfect ending to this album focused on love and sex. Grande sings with her whole heart in this album. In the song “My Hair” she sings an entire chorus in whistle notes which are unreachable for most of us mortals. The bottom line is if you disliked this album, you need to listen to it again. 

The main argument that this album was not as good as “Thank U, Next” is valid, but that does not mean that “Positions” is not amazing. Grande noticed the backlash and the “Thank U, Next” comparisons herself and responded in her zoom interview with Zach Sang saying, “I know a lot of people love “Thank U, Next” and want me to always make something like that but… I’m happy to not be in that kind of pain anymore…” The pain Grande is referring to is the loss of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, who died of a drug overdose in late 2018, and the breakup of her and her ex-fiance Pete Davidson which followed shortly after Miller’s death. “Thank U, Next” was written after those events took place resulting in an album filled with her heartbreak and raw emotion. One year after that album was released Grande says she is doing much better mentally and is not in pain anymore. This allowed her to make music that shows a happier side. Grande is happy and that matters more than what her fans think of her music. As a fan, I am so happy that she is in a better place and is able to have more fun with her music. Knowing this, it is easier to appreciate and love “Positions”. In conclusion, stream “Positions” by Ariana Grande on Spotify and Apple Music for clear skin, high grades, and a replenished soul.