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89.1 The Point Review: “Positions Deluxe” by Ariana Grandé

Ariana Grandé’s “Positions Deluxe” was released on January 29. (Photo credit: @ArianaGrande via Twitter)

By Kathleen Maurer / Music Director at 89.1 The Point

Ariana Grandé just released Positions Deluxe. This is an extended version of her already released album Positions. This Valentine’s Day treat was very fun and quickly became the center of attention that weekend.

Positions Deluxe featured 5 new songs added on after “pov.” It starts with the song, “someone like u (interlude).” This song had a retro 90’s R&B vibe with chimes that for some reason reminded me of the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood theme song. However, once the bass hits in the song, it is immediately reverted back to Grandé classic style of finger snap-led tempos and running vocal riffs. The lyrics throughout the 1:15 song consist of “I’ve been waiting for someone like you / Baby, this time, please don’t be too good to be true / I’ve been waiting for someone like you.” This repeats one time, then the song is just vocal riffs and the reversion back to the intro melody ending the song.

The next song, track 16 of Positions Deluxe, is “test drive.” It’s way more upbeat but maintains the theme of light chimes and heavy beats. The lyrics of this song talk of not needing to “test drive nothing.” She sings about how she “ain’t looking back unless it’s right at you,” describing the trust that Grandé has in her partner and her relationship knowing that everything is exactly how it should be with no doubts that it will remain that way. This song is very fast, really allowing you to groove to it.

Track 17 is the super popular “34+35 (Remix) feat. Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion.” This song was already popular before the remix and has been put on an even greater pedestal with these exceptional artists. The rap verses are backed with even more violin than the original and since the violin rendition of “thank u, next,” all I can think of when listening to this song is Bridgerton. When compared to the original, the song is basically the same in value. Grandé’s verses are the same. The verses by Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion are fun but do not make the song any better. It definitely sounds like a remix because the addition of the extra two artists seems a little forced. At times it’s almost too much, but if you can match the Megan Thee Stallion energy in the song, you’ll enjoy it.

Track 18 is “worst behavior.” This song is very reminiscent of Grandé’s early work. It is very similar to her tracks from Yours Truly. With it’s mesh of different reverbed vocals and juxtaposing quick add-ons between verses, “worst behavior” is very similar to “The Way.” It is also very similar in the groovy, pop vibes. However, you can see Grandé’s evolution in the way that it still has that R&B vibe. There is no specific line that really points it out, but the song describes romantic things that make Grandé feel like she is behaving badly. It’s pretty cheeky, but the lyrics match the music really well.

Track 19, “main thing,” is the last song in the deluxe album. It’s very relaxed and chill. It has slight influences of rain sounds in the background and is even emphasized with the lyric, “Hear the rain outside.” The song is slower with a poppy and heavy bass. The pre chorus helps to build a lot of the melody and also builds before leading back into the simpler melody of the verse. The song speaks again about how Grandé is sure that her current partner is different from all of the others, saying that he “might be the main thing.”

Positions Deluxe is good but I think that the additional songs would have been better as a separate EP instead of an addition to Positions. Positions was such a complete story with a very obvious theme of new love and positive vibes. Also, when comparing the closing songs of “pov” and “main thing,” there really is no contest. “pov” was so heartfelt and beautiful and the fade coming out of the song really did an excellent job at concluding the album by giving it a happy ending. I think the additional songs were excellent but just did not fit. If you are an Ariana Grandé fan you will absolutely enjoy these 5 songs. The songs are only about 2 minutes each so they are definitely worth the listen.

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