‘Positions’ showcases Grande’s insightful themes

Ariana Grande struts through the White House during the music video for her hit single “positions.” (Fair use from UMG)

All year, fans have been eagerly anticipating the sixth album from Ariana Grande. Since her award-winning album “thank u, next” released in 2019, fans have been counting down the days until the announcement of Grande’s sixth album, wondering what was next from the 27-year-old artist.

Grande’s newest hit album, “positions,” was released Friday, Oct. 30 and held the No.1 Billboard spot for two consecutive weeks. The album was her fifth to receive the top Billboard spot upon debut. It features 14 unique songs and includes guest appearances from many well-known artists such as Doja Cat, the Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign. 

The album acts as an extension of sounds she created throughout her previous albums “thank u, next” and “Sweetener,” but it also adds a refreshing element of hip-hop and R&B to her usual pop style. Grande released her single “positions,” the title track, early on Oct. 23 to tease the full album. In the song, she sings about her love for a man and emphasizes her devotion to their relationship. The song is fast-paced and vibrant, and the captivating R&B pulls you in while the catchy lyrics force you to sing along. 

The music video, directed by Dave Meyers, for this single portrays Grande as the first female president of the United States. The subject of the video was timely, as it debuted a little over a week before the presidential election, and Grande is depicted strutting through the White House fulfilling her presidential duties. The video itself paints Grande as a powerful and independent female with determination and devotion, which is reflected strongly in her song.

My favorite song on the album is Grande’s hit “pov.” “Pov” confronts the struggle with self-love that many can relate to, while Grande explores the idea of learning to love yourself as much as others love you. The song is graceful and has a more heartfelt tone accentuated in Grande’s insightful lyrics. The song has also inspired many trends on the popular social media app Tiktok in which creators share with their followers what they like about themselves along with their imperfections. This trend stems from Grande’s chorus, in which she explains how she wants to love “all of my pretty and all of my ugly too.”

In addition, Grande’s album includes some slower songs such as “off the table” and “just like magic.” The first of the two features popular artist The Weeknd. “Off the table” stands out to fans, as many speculate that the song is referring to Grande’s now deceased ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, whom she dated in 2018. In the song, Grande struggles with whether or not she is ready to move onto a new relationship and sings with a conflicted tone.

Though Grande’s album has many slow songs that also include elements of R&B, she brings the collection alive with more animated songs like “obvious” and “west side.” “Obvious” is fast-paced, with a message of inviting love again after being hurt in past relationships, while “west side” is flirtatious and upbeat. These songs add some excitement to the album to contrast with the more mellow music. 

Though “positions” does not stray far from Grande’s past albums, she proves once again that she can put together a collection of meaningful songs while also adding some edge. “Positions” is an unforgettable collection that will have you singing for days whether you are looking for something with raw emotion or a good beat.