Ariana Grande - Positions (2020)

Reason for Listening:
#1 on the Billboard 200 (Week of 20201121). I liked her previous album.
Last Week: 1 | Peak: 1 | Weeks on Chart: 2

Released 20201030.
14 songs. 41:07. Positions (2020)
First listen.
After listening to the album, I relistened to the four songs I rated a "2": "motive", "just like magic", "positions", and "pov".
I also listened to "shut up" and "34+35" again.
I moved "34+35" from a "0" to a "2". [Interestingly, the song ends with an outro that's very hard to hear because there's too much fade out applied. After seeing the lyrics, I can make out the first part by turning my volume up: "Means I wanna '69' with you | Aww shit | Math class | Never was good"]
I moved "positions" from a "2" to a "1" and "pov" from a "2" to a "3".

3: "pov";
2: "34+35"; "motive" (with Doja Cat); "just like magic";
1: "shut up"; "off the table" (with The Weeknd); "positions";
0: "six thirty"; "safety net" (ft. Ty Dolla $ign); "my hair"; "nasty"; "west side"; "love language"; "obvious";

Overall, I found the album to be more chill and less dynamic* compared to her previous album, Thank U, Next. With that being said, that's largely based on the sound and beat. There could potentially be a lot to unlock in the lyrics. On a related note, I would mention that there are moments throughout the various songs where Ariana Grande's voice shines. Unfortunately, perhaps the only song that comes close to having some weight to it is "pov" and that's not nearly as interesting as "7 rings" or "thank u, next" (songs from her last album). Intuitively, I wanted to give the album a 3.0, but I gave her previous album a 3.4. Part of the problem here is a rating creep.

None of the songs stood out after a first listen. But after listening to some songs again, I gravitated towards "pov" for it's chorus. I just love how the way "I'd love to see me from your point of view" is composed and caps the melody that precedes it (the chorus: 3 lines + "I'd love [...] view" + another 3 lines + "I'd love [...] view"). Originally I thought it had to do with tension in pitch, but I think it's more about tension and/or variation in beat. In any case, I love it.

Overall Rating: 2.8/5
Favorite Song: "pov"

*I originally used the word "flat" and in an attempt to be more descriptive changed it to "less dynamic." I later read some quotes on the Wikipedia article and I found the phrase "indistinct songs" to capture what I meant by "flat." However, I have opted to leave my original statement with "less dynamic."

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