Bre’s Beats: Grande’s “Positions (Deluxe)” album review

Among the numerous other music releases during 2020, Ariana Grande dropped a new album in late October that immediately became a favorite of fans and the general public alike. But, unlike many of her other studio albums, “Positions” had a deluxe version released in mid-February of 2021 with an extra five songs.

But what makes this album so special compared to the rest of Grande’s discography? The mix of perfect pop melodies and unique lyrics sets “Positions (Deluxe)” apart from many projects in the industry today, which also adds to the one-of-a-kind talent Grande possesses.

Out of her six albums, “Positions” is only the second to receive a deluxe version, which is fairly uncommon in many artists’ careers today, as the norm has become for every record to usually have a deluxe tracklist. But, if anything, that fact only heightened the excitement for fans when the announcement arrived about extra songs being released. 

Sticking to her usual pop/R&B sound, the standard tracklist was already full of songs that captured the upbeat tempo that is bound to get stuck in anyone’s head, becoming favorites after only a few listens.

From undeniable pop melodies and upbeat tempo of “just like magic” and “love language” to the dreamy heartfelt ballad “pov,” Grande’s stunning vocals and unique ability to create songs like no one else put “Positions” at the top of the charts. The leading single “Positions” found great success and was followed closely by “34+35,” both hits becoming staples for Top 40 radio.

Similar to most of her previous releases, the record also features big names, such as The Weeknd, Ty Dolla $ign and Doja Cat, all of whom enhance the tracklist to its fullest potential. 

Although many would find it hard to believe that Grande’s standout vocals could work with others, the three songs these artists appear on are some fan favorites that bring in the R&B feel to the album. Over the course of her career, Grande has blended genres to create her own recognizable sound, and the occasional collaboration not only brings a new kind of excitement but also allows the sound of a record to be different than expected which is clear on “Positions.”

But the deluxe version reinforces the magic that Grande pours into every song of hers. The five new songs carried the same catchy elements and dream pop themes that defined the album, but many immediately wondered why the singer decided not to include them for the initial release. 

“test drive,” “worst behavior” and “main thing” are the best selections from the five additional songs. The easily memorable lyrics mixed with the most unique melodies make the newest tunes off the tracklist favorites for countless reasons. 

Grande knows what works in the industry, what her fans like best and her sound is unmistakable, all of which is proved true from the deluxe edition of the album. Just one listen to any of these songs and they will sure become part of your regular music rotation.

While “Positions (Deluxe)” is a great listen, and undoubtedly a recommendation for everyone, the album does of course come with some criticism. 

Almost the entirety of the lyrics are about Grande navigating a newfound love while mixing genres all in one album, but in comparison to some of her other projects  “Positions” seemed to be a little lackluster in delivery. 

Although there are definitely staples on the tracklist and reasons for the record to be memorable, it is not as favorable or impressive as her others, which have arguably paved the way of other female artists in the music industry.

“Positions (Deluxe)” was particularly well-received, but the main criticism was that almost all of the new songs were about two minutes or less, except the remix. And while the songs are catchy and easy to love, the lyrics can be seen as repetitive with no real substance behind them. But despite its minor flaws, Grande’s latest release is stunning overall in several different ways and is one that simply cannot be missed.