“My presence sweet and my aura bright / Diamonds good for my appetite / Guess it fuckin’ just clicked one night, all them demons helped me see shit differently so don’t be sad for me” are the opening lines to Ariana Grande’s latest album ‘Positions’ and with that establish an album filled with a flirty, fun atmosphere. The 27-year-old Nickelodeon alumna has had to deal with more hurt and terror than most, but with her sixth album Ariana proves that she has bounced back and that her life is not consumed by pain.
With blinks of continuity to her last album, ‘Thank U Next’, ‘Positions’ is a homage to early ‘00s R&B/pop crossovers and excels in its field. ‘just like magic’ is a classic Ariana song with catchy rhythms, chimes of self-love and the chorus that is made to be stuck in your head whilst being played on repeat. Throughout the 14 tracks, the presence of love is noticeable. No longer is it the over devotion only younger, naive people possess but rather an adoration rooted in maturity.
The pop-queen collaborates with some of today’s most interesting artists. The duet that pulls on our heartstrings the most is the one with critically acclaimed Grammy winner The Weeknd on ‘off the table’. Other collabs featured on the album are with rising artist Doja Cat and rapper Ty Dolla $ign.
Unlike Ariana’s last two albums, her music isn’t rooted in pain but rather in immense bliss. This kind of happiness gets translated through the music, a positivity no one would’ve expected to come from a time filled with social unrest and a global pandemic. ‘Positions’ is the ultimate break from the gloomy world that lives outside and makes you look on the bright side of things. After six albums of pure pop excellence, Ariana hasn’t exhausted her originality or talent but is rather expanding her ever-growing reach and slowly reaching the level of an icon.
Text by: Lauren Dehollogne // Photo credit: Dave Meyers