For the song, see Positions (song).

Positions is Ariana Grande's sixth studio album. It was released on October 30, 2020, through Republic Records.[1] The album was recorded between January and October 2020.[2][3]

A deluxe edition of the album was released on February 19, 2021. It features five bonus tracks including the remix of "34+35" featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat.[4]

Background

In 2019, Ariana Grande began working on the album.[2] On March 24, 2020, she posted a 45 second snippet of a song titled "Nasty" on her social media.[5] On September 14, 2020, Grande posted a snippet of a song that was later revealed to be "Positions", on her social media with the caption "brb".[6] On October 14, 2020, she revealed on Twitter that the album would be released the same month.[7] Three days later, Grande posted a slow-motion video of her typing the word "positions" on a keyboard and launched two countdowns on her website counting down to October 23, 2020 and October 30, 2020.[1]

Cover art

On October 23, 2020, Grande revealed the album's cover art.[8] Limited physical editions of Positions were issued DTC with two other cover artworks, that feature the same photograph as the original, except Grande is looking at the camera, with repositioned hands and face angle.

Deluxe edition

On February 1, 2021, Grande announced a Deluxe Edition of Positions, featuring four new tracks and the remix of "34+35" featuring Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion[9] On February 9, 2021, Grande announced on her social media that the Positions Deluxe will be released on February 19.[4] Grande confirmed the four new tracks to be "Someone Like U (Interlude)", "Test Drive", "Worst Behavior", and "Main Thing" in the countdown to the premiere of the "34+35" remix music video.

Singles

The lead single and title track, "Positions", was released on October 23, 2020.[1]

The second single, "34+35", was released on October 30, 2020. It impacted US Pop radio as an official single that same day.[10][11] A remix of the song featuring American rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat was released on January 16, 2021, accompanied by its lyric video.[12][13]

The third single, "POV", was released on March 23rd, 2021.

Critical Reception

The album received favorable reviews (despite not breaking any new ground) from music critics. Alexa Camp of Slant, believed it did not offer enough new ideas or innovation. "Too many of the songs on Positions rely on the same mid-tempo trap-pop that populated Grande's previous two efforts, particularly Thank U, Next. What once seemed refreshing in its minimalism is quickly starting to feel insubstantial. Editor Hannah Mylrea describes it as "a pleasant listen, as an introduction to the next era of Grande’s career, it’s solid, but you can’t help but feel it’s missing some of her trademark sparkle." Compared to her previous albums , Mylrea states how "strength and perseverance threads throughout ‘Positions’, an album that finds Grande thriving. [14] Positions "lacks the megawatt pop belters of previous releases" where The Guardian's Alexis Petridis agrees, writing: "Positions deals in polished professionalism, not pulse-quickening excitement. There isn't an obvious standout track...the overall effect is of individual tracks bleeding into one long slow-motion shot" rating the album 3 out of 5 stars. [15] While the album receives praise for it's vocals and musical arrangements, there's much to be desired lyrically. Critics such as Alim Kheraj of i-D highlight the raunchiness of the album's entirety, "Ariana has one thing on her mind: sex. So much sex, the subsequent 13 tracks are some of the horniest songs that Ariana has ever released." [16] Kate Soloman of The Telegraph agrees that "There are no tentpole hits, no obvious hooks and far too many words crammed into 14 relatively short and sometimes samey songs. But it explores new territory for the singer: new relationships, a new sound, a new sense of self." [17] However, critics such as The New Statesman's Emily Bootle, highlight the positives, "Positions is about emerging on the other side... with "no dud tracks". She emphasizes Grande's confidence and maturity with a sense of individual identity in "creating era-capturing music." [18] [19]

Commercial performance

Positions debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 with 174,000 album-equivalent units, of which 42,000 were pure album sales.[20][21] This is Grande's fifth studio album to debut at the top of the chart since her previous Dangerous Woman debuted and peaked at No. 2, while Yours Truly, My Everything, Sweetener and Thank U, Next all debuted at No. 1 in 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019 respectively. In addition, Positions earned the second-largest streaming week for a non-R&B/hip-hop or Latin album in 2020 in the US (173.54 million).

It also debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums chart, racking up 27,500 chart sales.[22]

On the issue date November 14, 2020, every song on the album was charted on the Hot 100. The highest peaked song is "Positions" debuting at number 1. The lowest song being "Love Language" debuting at number 75.

Trivia

  • The first song recorded for the album was "Shut Up".[23]
  • The longest song is "Off The Table", with The Weeknd at 3 minutes and 59 seconds, while the shortest song is "Someone Like U (Interlude)" at 1 minute and 16 seconds.
  • This is Grande's second album on which she co-wrote every track, the first being thank u, next.
  • Positions surpassed 1.1 billion streams in 63 days.
  • Positions has over 1.8 billion streams on Spotify. It's Grande's 5th album to achieve this and her second fastest behind “thank u, next”.
  • The album debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200. It is Grande's fifth album to debut at the top of the charts.
  • The album has remained in the top 10 for 18 weeks on Billboard 200 in 2021.
  • Positions is the second album by Grande to continuously chart on the Worldwide Apple Music Albums Charts after thank u, next.
  • This is Grande's first album to have a deluxe edition not release at the same time as the standard edition, being released just over three months after the standard edition.
  • Grande said that footage was recorded when making the album, but she doesn't know if she wants to make it a big thing, or leave it as little like a post on Instagram.
  • Positions has been BRIT certified gold.
  • Positions has been certified gold in the UK for selling over 100,000 units.
  • Positions remains inside the top 10 on US Apple Music. (105+ days)
  • Positions is one of the most streamed albums in the top 20 that was released in 2020 on Spotify.
  • Positions is the biggest debut for a female deluxe album in Spotify History with a total of 16.9 Million streams.
  • All four tracks on the Deluxe edition peaked in the top 5 on U.S. iTunes Charts. This is a first in Grande’s career.
  • Positions peaked at #1 on Apple Music US Chart.
  • Positions ranked #1 for two weeks on the Billboard 200.
  • Positions (Deluxe) accumulated a total of 86,101,005 streams within its first week on Spotify.
  • Positions is the most streamed female album of 2021 so far Globally and in the United States.
  • Positions' has now spent 15 total weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard 200.
  • Positions spends its 17th week on the Billboard 200 at #2(+7), selling 49K units. (902.500 units since release)
  • Positions has sold over 1 million total units in the US.

Gallery

Photoshoot

Booklet

Track listing

Standard Edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Shut Up"Ariana Grande, Tayla Parx, Tommy Brown, Peter Lee Johnson, Steven Franks, Travis SaylesBrown, Johnson, Mr. Franks, Sayles2:37
2."34+35"Grande, Victoria Monét, Parx, Scott Nicholson, Albert Stanaj, Brown, Johnson, Franks, Courageous Xavier HerreraTBHits, Johnson, Mr. Franks, Xavi2:53
3."Motive" (featuring Doja Cat)Grande, Amala Dlamini, Nija Charles, Monét, James McIntyre, Shane Lindstrom, Brown, FranksMurda Beatz, TBHits, Mr. Franks, Joseph L'Étranger2:47
4."Just Like Magic"Grande, Priscilla Hamilton, Robert Taylor, Brown, FranksShea Taylor, TBHits, Mr. Franks2:29
5."Off The Table" (featuring The Weeknd)Grande, Abel Tesfaye, Shintaro Yasuda, Brown, Franks, SaylesShintaro, TBHits, Mr. Franks, Sayles3:59
6."Six Thirty"Grande, Hamilton, Brown, Franks, Nami, TaylorTBHits, Mr. Franks, Nami, Taylor3:03
7."Safety Net" (featuring Ty Dolla $ign)Grande, Tyrone Griffin, Jr., Khristopher Riddick-Tynes, Leon Thomas III, Brown, Silas DossThe Rascals, TBHits, Keys Open Doors3:28
8."My Hair"Grande, Monét, Parx, Scott Storch, Brown, Anthony M. Jones, Charles Anderson[24]Scott Storch, TBHits, Jones, Anderson2:38
9."Nasty"Grande, Monét, Riddick-Tynes, Thomas, Brown, Nami, SaylesThe Rascals, TBHits, Nami, Sayles3:20
10."West Side"Grande, Monét, Brown, Herrera, Ammar JunediTBHits, Xavi, Ammar Junedi2:12
11."Love Language"Grande, Monét, Parx, Kam Parker, Brown, Tommy Parker, SaylesTBHits, Parker, Sayles2:59
12."Positions"Grande, Charles, Angelina Barrett, Brian Vincent Bates, James Jarvis, London Holmes, Brown, FranksLondon On Da Track, TBHits, Mr. Franks2:52
13."Obvious"Grande, Charles, Ryan Tedder, Johnson, Brown, Franks, Sayles, Josh ConerlyTBHits, Mr. Franks, Sayles, Josh Conerly2:26
14."POV"Grande, Parx, Brown, Franks, Oliver FridTBHits, Mr. Franks, Oliver "Junior" Frid3:21
Total length:41:07
Deluxe edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
15."Someone Like U (Interlude)"Grande, Brown, Travis Sayles, Sam Wish, Parker, WanselBrown, Sayles, Parker, Wish, Wansel1:16
16."Test Drive"Grande, Tommy Brown, Foster, Victoria Monét, Tayla Parx, Mr. Franks, Murda BeatzFoster, Mr. Franks, Brown, & Murda Beatz2:02
17."34+35" (featuring Doja Cat & Megan Thee Stallion) (Remix)Grande, Dlamini, Herrera, Megan Pete, Johnson, Nicholson, Franks, Parx, Brown, MonétMr. Franks, Johnson, Brown, Xavi3:02
18."Worst Behavior"Grande, Tommy Brown, Tayla Parx, Mr. Franks, Thomas LumpkinsBrown, Franks & Parker2:04
19."Main Thing"Grande, Tommy Brown, Steven Franks, Travis Sayles, Peter Lee Johnson, Xavier "Xavi" Herrera, Josh Conerly, Yonatan WattsTommy Brown, Franks, Xavi,2:09
Total length:51:48

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Vulture - Get Into ‘Position’ for Ariana Grande’s New Single
  2. 2.0 2.1 Billboard - Is Ariana Grande Working On New Music Again?
  3. NME - Ariana Grande shares new album update and urges fans to vote in 2020 presidential election
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ariana Grande on Twitter: "february 12th: 34+35 remix video feat @dojacat & @theestallion february 19th: positions deluxe".
  5. Twitter - i miss making things can’t wait to get back to work but for now let’s stay inside pls
  6. Twitter- brb
  7. Us Magazine - Ariana Grande’s 6th Album Is Coming Soon: Everything We Know So Far About #AG6
  8. Twitter - positions the single out now. positions my 6th album out friday the 30th.
  9. Twitter - happy february @arianagrande
  10. Ariana Grande '34+35’ Lyrics Real Meaning Explained
  11. chart data on Twitter: ".@ArianaGrande’s "34+35" is impacting US Pop radio immediately"
  12. "Ariana Grande Unleashes '34+35' Remix With Megan Thee Stallion & Doja Cat: Listen". Billboard.
  13. "Ariana Grande Shares New “34+35 (Remix)” With Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat: Listen". Pitchfork.
  14. Ariana Grande – ‘Positions’ review: lots of banging, but not so many bangers
  15. Ariana Grande: Positions review – all-night romps but no climax
  16. Ariana Grande’s new album is all about being horny on main
  17. Ariana Grande, Positions, review: plenty of lust, but where are the hits?
  18. Ariana Grande’s Positions: playful, era-capturing R&B from one of our greatest living pop stars
  19. Ariana Grande's Positions: Album 'solid but doesn't sparkle' say critics
  20. Billboard - Ariana Grande claims fifth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart with "Positions"
  21. Complex - Ariana Grande Earns fifth No. 1 on Billboard 200 with 'Positions'
  22. Ariana Grande scores UK chart double with 'Positions'
  23. Twitter - it was actually the first track ! “shut up”. i promise this is me answering the question and not telling u to shut up.
  24. https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/search/workID/906566147
Positions
October 30, 2020 • 41:07 • Republic Records
Songs
Released 34+35Just Like MagicLove LanguageMain ThingMotiveMy HairNastyObviousOff The TablePositionsPOVSafety NetShut UpSix ThirtySomeone Like U (Interlude)Test DriveWest SideWorst Behavior
Artists
Ariana GrandeDoja CatMegan Thee StallionThe WeekndTy Dolla Sign
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