Ariana Grande presents: “Positions”

One of three

One of three “Positions” album covers. Courtesy of arianagrande.fandom.com

Amy Iheme, Opinion Editor

On October 30, multifaceted pop star Ariana Grande released her sixth studio album, “Positions,” and it is exceedingly deserving of its second week on the Billboard 200 charts. Grande first teased the album with the lead single, “Positions,” one week before the album was released. On September 14, she posted a snippet of her vocals on Instagram with the caption “brb” alluding to the album that was in the making. Grande is well remembered for her role as Cat in the famous Nickelodeon T.V. Show “Victorious,” but she calls out the people who continue to write her off as the red haired airhead character on her dynamic album, “Positions.” 

Grande’s album explores love, growth and intimacy on the 14 track album. Her vocals? Immaculate. The way Grande effortlessly belts out whistle tones in ways unknown to man is beyond me. The select feature artists? Perfect. The Weeknd never fails to disappoint when it comes to ballads of love, such as “off the table.” Doja Cat also has her fair share of good rhymes on “Motive,” which used to be on repeat for me since the album’s release. The fast paced dance-like track explores Ariana’s thoughts in her head as she asks her lover what his “motive” is before she “leads him on.” 

One of my personal favorite songs on the track is “pov.” Social media also seems to favor this song as “pov” was used as a TikTok trend displaying all of the users “pretty and ugly too.” On this track, Grande sings to her current boyfriend, 27-year-old real estate tycoon, Dalton Gomez, about how grateful she is for Gomez’s love and wishes that she can love herself as much as he does her.

Positions track list. Courtesy of: headtopics.com

As per my earlier praises of the album, Grande does not fail to deliver her best on this album. However, a song on the album that I used to enjoy so much, “my hair,” caused me to question Grande’s purpose when she sings about her hair, or even when she mentions it in her songs such as the popular single “7 rings”, and others seem to think the same as well. Ariana Grande is of European descent, so I was a bit disappointed and felt that she appropriated the struggles that I have with my own hair. Her signature high ponytail definitely comes with a hefty set of extensions, but I wanted to understand where she was coming from, so I did some digging and found a “Positions” interview she did with Youtuber Zach Sang on his channel “The Zach Sang Show” where she explains the meaning behind the song.

“Hair for me is such a guard, character, facade-type thing and has had its own evolution. My real hair — which is a humongous curly, curly pouf — so few people get to see it,” Grande said. “It’s cute and reminds me of who I am, privately. The curls are something I don’t bring around much, and that’s something I envisioned that song being about because it’s such an intimate thing.”

Upon listening to the track, I thought she was covering a song because of the mimicked jazzed beat accompanying her aged tone and thought nothing of it. Being that I am a Black woman that chemically processes her own hair to make it straight for my own preferences, I resonate with the lyrics “Usually don’t let people touch it, But tonight, you get a pass, Spend my dimes and spend my time, To keep it real, sometimes it’s tracks.” 

Yes, Ari. Hair is an intimate thing–my silk scarf and bonnet can vouch for that. I would assume that Grande has not been denied a job due to her curly tresses or, at the least, been discriminated against for it. In fact, her whole career has been built off of her hair, beginning with her role as the bright red haired “Catarina Valentine” from Victorious-where she bleached and dyed her own hair every other week for the first four years of playing “Cat”, which resulted in her adopting the signature high-pony. Even after she wears her extensions, she still does not receive nearly a quarter of discrimination as the typical black woman. 

Overall this album is a 9.5/10. I definitely see myself crying over the good and the bad of my own relationships while listening to this album in the future.