What You Need To Know - October 30, 2020

Ariana Grande’s positions - What You Need To Know
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Ariana Grande’s positions - What You Need To Know

Ariana Grande’s productivity continues to be ceaseless. This week she makes it three albums in three years and four in the last five with the release of positions. Here is everything you need to know about it...

 

What’s the background?

Grande's Sweetener and Thank U, Next arrived within six months of each other, one, was an introspective and dark collection, created amid the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and her breakup with then-fiancé Pete Davidson, the other a light and playful response to that period. 

The singer then toured heavily in support of both LPs, playing over 100 shows in 15 countries and grossing over $145 million in the process. The tour wound up at the very end of 2019, and, after a short break, Grande headed back into writing to begin work on this new album. 

During 2020, she also found time to help both Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga out, propelling both 'Stuck With U' and 'Rain On Me' towards the top of the charts. 

 

Who’s producing it?

On this LP, Grande's changed tack in her choice of collaborators. In the past, it's been big hitters. Max Martin, Pharrell, but this time Grande has opted for some different operators. 

That said, it's not like she's plucked out complete unknowns. Victoria Monét, who has worked with Grande all the way back to 2013's Yours Truly, is on two tracks, while The Rascals who've penned hits with Kehlani and Rick Ross, are a prominent feature. 

Tommy Brown, better known as TBHits, is the key man here and oversees the record, while there is one big-hitter, ballad supremo Ryan Tedder, who helped pen 'Obvious'. 

 

Any special guests?

Aside from the legion of production talent, there are three very special guests. 

First, you’ve got rapper Doja Cat, who’s on ‘Motive’, then The Weeknd returns the favour after Grande guested on his hit ‘Love Me Harder’, with a track named ‘Off The Table’. Finally, smooth hip-hop maestro Ty Dolla Sign guests on ‘Safety Net’. 

 

What does it sound like?

Clearly happy with the sonic direction of Thank U, Next, Grande has delved further, embracing harsher production and a sonic palette built from skittery trap beats and dreamy hip-hop production. 

It sits at odd with the album's feel though. Gone is the melancholy of Sweetener and Thank U, Next, instead, you get a graphic insight into Grande's newfound happiness with boyfriend Dalton Gomez.

The only time the album broods is on 'Off The Table' and a lot of that is down to the presence of The Weeknd. 

 

Does it deliver?

Grande's journey from Disney channel Princess to worldwide sensation and critical darling has been a fascinating one to watch and this is another interesting new chapter. A chapter still packed with big, big choruses, mind...

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