I have never listened to, or considered myself an Ariana Grande fan. I have had friends, acquaintances and ex-girlfriends who really enjoy her music, but I could never get into it myself. I listened to “Sweetener” when it first came out, an album I enjoyed, but never obsessed over. I can obsess over “Positions.”
Until this year, my pop music sphere was small and specific. It’s not that I don’t enjoy pop music, I just never found myself listening to music or searching out new popular music. The pop music I heard was only that of which was directly around me. Very popular radio tracks, trending TikTok songs or whatever my friends would play in the car. Given my friends and social media I consume, Ariana Grande was rarely in that mix. “Bang Bang,” “Santa Tell Me” and “7 rings” were the big tracks I had heard more than once, and frankly, I enjoyed them.
If you Google “what kind of music does Ariana Grande make” you get two answers. One, the obvious, is “pop.” The other, one that makes much more sense after you listen to her non-chart topping tracks is “contemporary R&B.” Ariana has created such a smooth standard for pop R&B artists. To say it simply; Ariana Grande set the bar so high in her early career and yet she continues to push it higher.
Positions is a very straight forward, and perfect stand alone album. It moves through a current of slower rhythmic blues and perfectly poppy bangers. “motive” with Doja Cat is so fun. Listening to this track makes me want to learn how to properly break dance so I can convey my emotions through movement. It would be a lie to say I didn’t bob my head throughout this entire track. These upbeat songs are more my jam, and in my opinion, the real strong parts of this record.
Another true bop is “my hair.” This track reminds me of Lupe Fiasco, or some funky hip hop artist of that caliber. Feeling like I want 4 feet long hair is not a common feeling for me, but Ariana found a way to put that desire in my heart.
I don’t mean to sound like a fake fan, more so a new fan. I loved this album. It made me feel good and quite frankly, more confident. I would recommend this record to anyone. Please, even if you have never found an interest in Ariana Grande, you will glow after your first listen.