Review: Ariana Grande’s ‘Positions’ falls a bit too flat

Album art courtesy of Republic Records.

By Camille Rasor | Arts & Life Editor

Over the weekend, Ariana Grande released her sixth studio album, Positions, and honestly, it was a little disappointing.

I went into the listening experience of this album fully anticipating to love it. Sweetner and thank u, next, Grande’s previous two albums, were on repeat in my earbuds and car speakers for months. I genuinely love Grande’s ability to write fun, light bops like 7 rings or god is a woman and also release tracks like breathin and ghostin, two songs that deal closely with anxiety and deep emotional situations she found herself in.

Unfortunately, Positions just does not sit on the same tier as her last two albums.

My first complaint is that all the songs sound virtually the same, even if there are a few notable exceptions. There’s a difference between making an album sonically cohesive (which Grande has executed well in her other bodies of work) and making an album sound monotone. Disappointingly, Positions falls into the latter category.

As a whole, the lyrics on the album lack a lyrical complexity, a weak point that I could have forgiven if the lyrics were witty or the tracks made me want to dance. But from the first track, there almost no stand out lyrics that make the songs shine.

Now, all of this is not to say that the album is necessarily bad. It’s a perfectly fine album, and I’m sure it’ll be popular for a few months before another artist releases a new album that pushes it down on the charts. I just don’t see it becoming an iconic album in this era of pop music in the same way that her previous albums are.

There are, however, a few tracks that stand out from the rest. Just like magic, the fourth song on the album, depicts a woman learning what it’s like to be one of the few artists at the top of the music industry and creating a healthy space for her to genuinely love the life she’s leading.

Positions, the track the album is named for, has quickly climbed to the top of the charts as the album’s lead single. It’s a fun song, and it deserves the hype it’s receiving.

Lastly, pov, the final song on the album, is the only track that I feel really captures what I wanted this album to be. It’s a raw snapshot into her feelings, and those raw emotions tend to lead to the best songs. Grande sings to her lover, who she feels unconditionally loves her, wishing to be able to see in herself what they see in her.

It’s a song written from a woman grappling with her insecurities though she is unabashedly in love. Grande sings, “for all of my pretty and all of my ugly too, i want to see me from your point of view,” capturing exactly what it feels like to feel unworthy of real love but nevertheless, receive it so completely.

As a whole, though, the album is not my particular cup of tea. A few tracks might find their way onto my playlist, but the album just doesn’t build on Grande’s portfolio in the way that it could have.