Grande positioning her new sound with “Positions” debut

Nasya Stevenson, Staff Reporter

Ariana Grande is considered one of the best artists in this generation. She has extraordinary range and vocals often compared to Mariah Carey. Grande’s sixth studio album, “Positions,” was released on Oct. 30 through Republic Records. 

The project has been in the works at home recording studios for several months during this pandemic. The surprise album announcement was made three weeks ago when the pop singer tweeted, “I can’t wait to give u my album this month.” A few days after the announcement, she shared a video typing out ‘positions’ in slow motion via Instagram and Twitter.

On the Zach Sang Show, Grande commented on why she decided to release an album during this difficult time: “I know that in my heart this will make a lot of people feel something good.”  Ariana confessed to Sang that the worldwide reaction to the announcement “floored” her and brought her to tears. She also told Sang her fans reminded Grande why she makes music, and they made the album release even more special.

Grande released the same-titled single, “Positions,” on Oct. 23 along with a presidential-themed music video directed by Dave Meyers. Her growth, healing and process of moving on from past experiences since her previous album “Thank u, next” is shown in the strength of her newest release. “Positions” is Grande’s most mature, lyrical and sensual album. 

The album consists of 14 tracks with three collaborations: “Motive” featuring Doja Cat, “Off the Table” featuring the Weeknd and “Safety Net” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Most of the songs used string ensembles and provided a 1970s feel. According to Grande, some songs purposely gave Disney-like melodies. Overall, the album was heavily R&B influenced. 

Several producers involved in production were Tommy Brown, The Rascals, Shea Taylor and Scott Storch, among others. Grande has worked with her close friends Victoria Monet and Tayla Parx, who starred in her music videos, “Thank u, next,” “7 rings,” and “Positions.” They have also written several songs over Grande’s career. Murda Beatz and London on da Track produced with Grande for the first time.

In the Broadway musical intro-themed song, “Shut Up,” Grande addresses her haters about worrying so much about her life and what she does. She has impressed many fans by doing a whole verse in whistle tones in “My Hair.” Ending the album with “Pov,” she wishes she could see what she looks like from her boyfriend’s point of view. 

Grande has made connections in her song lyrics to her past albums, “Sweetener” and “Thank u, next.” Evidently, she holds a successful discography. “It is really cool to have No. 1s and to have a Grammy that is currently sitting in a pile of yarn in my closet,” Grande admitted to Sang as she expressed gratitude for her achievements. She also defined her success to Sang as having her fans, friends, family, dogs and love. 

At the end of a long day, Grande feels grateful and always looks for the little pleasures in life. She genuinely believes the reason she makes music is not about the numbers on the charts, but what she had from the beginning: love, support and the ability to sing and to tell a story.