Adding onto her wildly successful 2020 album positions, Ariana Grande brings even more to the already overwhelming album.
The new version of the album includes five new tracks including the “34+35 (Remix)” with Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat. Also included is the interlude track “someone like u” and three new songs: “worst behavior,” “test drive,” and “main thing.”
The original album– as noted by Pitchfork— explores Grande’s mind as she “searches for peace,” a notably different theme than her previous album thank u, next from back in 2019. The feelings explored here are more mature– and not just in a sexual sense (although there are plenty of horny songs on this album.) More so, her examination of herself and her past shows how she’s grown through overcoming her past and working through issues with self-reflection. There’s still pain in her music for sure, but there’s a hopeful tone as well.
The song that stands out to me as the most representative of her personal growth and turn towards acceptance is the closing track “pov.” It’s a beautiful, sweet song about wanting to love herself as someone dear to her loves her “for all of [her] pretty/And all of [her] ugly too.” As suggested by the name of the song, she wants to see herself from another point of view, needing a different perspective in which to judge herself in the hopes that she’ll finally see herself as someone worthy of the love she’s receiving. From this position, hopefully, she can drop her past baggage and learn not to be so scared of her relationship.
Along with the classic situation of the song (the idea of switching places with a lover is certainly nothing new in music), there are also some classical elements accompanying it such as cello and viola, making it stand out from the rest of the album. “Pov,” with its reflective tone and hopeful notes, is the ultimate example of how her emotional maturity bleeds through her most recent music.
Since the original album’s release back in November, several songs on it went viral on TikTok with their own trends. Some songs– like “positions” and “pov”– became popular mostly for edits and other sorts of videos while other songs have a more versatile use. “Nasty,” for example, has over 13k videos made with it, ranging from fan edits, comedy videos, and even has its own #nastydancechallenge trend associated with it.
The “34+35 (Remix),” which came out back in mid-January, also received a new music video to go along with it a week before the deluxe edition of positions. Back in January, this song became wildly popular almost instantaneously on release due to the iconic collab with Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, two insanely popular and talented artists with their vast fanbases. The video indulges in a sort of retro luxury vibe with Ariana, Megan, and Doja lounging around a fancy hotel room grooving along to the chill R&B track.
Following the increasingly popular trend among artists, Grande hosted a countdown to the premiere of her music video. During it, she read questions and tweets from fans about the video, her other music videos, the album, her process, and everything and anything about her life.
When asked about why she decided to release these songs now– rather than, say, save them for a future album– she said that she felt these songs are “so contextually attached to this era and this album” that she wanted them to be a part of the conversation that the positions album is.
“I would rather not just throw them into another era, and I would love for you to hear them as a second life, just adding more context to this album and this era… I think that’s a better fit.”
This deluxe edition of positions merely adds onto the “storyline” or conversation of the original, encapsulating a certain era of Grande’s personal growth.