‘pov:’ you’re listening to Ariana Grande’s latest album

Nina Geoghegan

Grande’s torso is featured in a black and white cover art photo for the single version of “positions” released in Oct. Courtesy of Republic Records

American pop artist Ariana Grande blessed fans and music listeners alike with her new album “positions” on Oct. 30 after initially announcing its release earlier that month. Almost two years after dropping her last album, “thank u, next,” in February 2019, the artist’s new tunes demonstrate why she’s hailed as the “Princess Of Pop.”

“Positions” is Grande’s sixth studio album and undeniably one of her best works. Grande not only delivers fresh, quality sounds, but also gives audiences all the more reason to listen by collaborating with well-known artists. Though there are only a few, her feature tracks include big names like Doja Cat, The Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign. 

Along with these guest stars, Grande shook things up a bit with an array of diverse tones: from empowerment and promiscuity to passion and tenderness, “positions” provides a different song for almost every mood, not dissimilar to her previous works including “Sweetener” and “Dangerous Woman.” Grande differentiates tracks from one another by experimenting with unique sounds in each, including the use of classical instruments, such as the violin, in her first two songs, “shut up” and “34+35.” Other songs like “motivation” and “nasty” have a faster pace and more pop-like qualities, similar to her prior pieces. The album is a mixed bag of exploratory tracks grounded by a consistency to her classic image, showing growth in her music style and avoiding dramatic stylistic changes. 

As suggested by the not-so-subtle album name and song titles mentioned above, “positions” revolves quite heavily around sex. However, the thinly veiled innuendos should not repel listeners. After all, Grande’s theme of choice isn’t a shallow account of getting down and dirty; it’s about love, relationships and a deeper level of physical intimacy. Although romance is a rather cliché field in the music and media world in general, Grande’s transparency provides a refreshing illustration of her experiences. The lyrics about the raw reality of youth, sex and everything in between are perfectly juxtaposed by the musician’s angelic vocals.

The young artist’s unique and dazzling voice isn’t the only component making her songs addictive. The album combines the currently beloved feel of modern pop with the smooth style of R&B, making the replay button incredibly tempting. The singer also strengthens her release by starting with the ear-worm beat of “shut up” and ending with the strong and emotionally charged piece, “pov.” Grande saved the best for last with this final song. The track’s soulful lyrics spotlight the desire to see herself through the idolized lens of a lover. The catchy tune intertwines with the selective diction and makes for a concoction appealing to the masses, all the while carried by Grande’s well-trained vocals. The location of this melodically magical song as the closing piece of “positions” proves that the album has no dull point. 

 Positions is, without a doubt, an album that will earn as much hype – if not more – as her other works. The release is an open demonstration of her power to convert raunchy material into a collection of dance-worthy and artful songs. Grande’s hard work and natural talent manifest themselves in this album. The pleasantly light album is perfect for any occasion: homework, chores, a car ride with friends, and merits a listen – if not multiple.