The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

“Positions” proves Ariana Grande is more than a popstar

“Positions” proves Ariana Grande is more than a popstar - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Ariana Grande's new album "Postions" was released Oct. 30, 2020. Photo illustration by Brigid Cooley

 Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener” and “thank u, next” albums were created to cope with very public heartbreak. “Positions” was not created to heal from trauma, nor was it created for the radio — it’s for Grande herself. 

The Boca Raton singer took a different approach on this album.She dabbled in various genres and subject matter with her vocals and lyricism. “Positions” doesn’t have the pop quality that her two previous albums oozed. However, that’s what makes this her most important work yet. 

Grande released “Positions” on Oct. 30. The 14-track album features collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign, Doja Cat and The Weeknd. Grande announced the album just two weeks before its release on Twitter and received over 1 million likes.

“obvious “ and “six thirty” are just two simply good love songs. They aren’t necessarily lyrically deep, but they are bound to make you think of your significant other or someone from your past. These tracks show that Grande is superb at making listeners reflect on and appreciate love.

Songs like “west side,” “my hair” and “love language” display Grande’s versatility. They don’t sound like pop radio hits, but they have a spot in cabarets or jazz clubs. “my hair” is proof that Grande is perhaps one of the best vocalists of our time with unbelievable whistle notes.

However, the album wasn’t entirely experimental. “motive” with Doja Cat and “positions” are two tracks that have an undeniable place on pop radio. “motive” with Doja Cat is an example of Grande’s ability to play off of other artists on collaborations. “positions” was the first single released and was accompanied by a music video on Oct. 23. It’s an undeniable hit, with an unbelievably catchy chorus.

“pov,” “off the table” and “safety net” display the more vulnerable side of Grande — and accentuate how talented of a lyricist she is. On “pov” she encapsulates the feeling of being secure and loved in a relationship. The “off the table” collaboration with The Weeknd describes the struggle to move on from true love. Perhaps the best collaboration is with Ty Dolla $ign on “safety net.” Both artists blended perfectly together to create a track describing the underlying fear of falling in love and being utterly vulnerable.

“Positions” stands out from the rest of Grande’s discography because it allowed her to express herself in a way she hadn’t before. She was able to explicitly embrace her sexuality on songs like “34+35” and “nasty.”This permitted her to stray from her image as an artist who makes music solely for teens and tweens. Both tracks displayed her growth as a musician and confidence as a young woman in the music industry.

Her confidence continues to show in tracks “shut up” and “just like magic.” On the opening track “shut up,” Grande sings, “all them demons helped me see s— differently, so don’t be sad for me” explaining that she’s healing from her past trauma. “just like magic” exudes  confidence that can’t help but rub off on listeners. As Grande sings, “keep my conscience clear, that’s why I’m so magnetic,” you’ll likely find yourself singing, too. 

Grande completely outdid herself. I wouldn’t necessarily say this is her “best” album, but it is her most important because it shows her growth as a lyricist, artist and person. It’s difficult to write for every emotion, old fans and new listeners, but Grande accomplished all of that and more on this album. “Positions” is, without a doubt, one of the only good things to come out of 2020. 

Writer’s top 5:


my hair

just like magic

off the table

west side

About the Author

Asiah Mendoza
Assistant Editor
Asiah Mendoza is a communications junior with a minor in psychology. Born and raised in San Antonio, she enjoys writing and listening to music in her free time. Her favorite things to do are go to concerts and discover new artists. After graduation, she hopes to combine her two interests and become a music journalist.

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