Ariana Grande released the deluxe version of her sixth studio album ‘Positions’ this past Friday. While not a bad deluxe album, ‘Positions Deluxe’ also lacks a lot of deluxe content.
‘Positions Deluxe’ kept most of the original ‘Positions’ tracklist, with the addition of three songs and one interlude. One of these singles was the controversial “34+35” remix, featuring rap superstars Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion.
I wasn’t particularly excited for ‘Positions Deluxe’, mostly because I wasn’t particularly excited about the original ‘Positions’ album. The sole single before the album dropped, “Positions”, wasn’t much different from what we had already heard from Grande’s previous five albums. It didn’t seem at all interested in pushing forward her discography as an artist or a musician. If anything, it seemed more interested in furthering Grande’s selling power by keeping her in the news.
I hate to admit it, but with the release of ‘Positions Deluxe’, I think we have found a new standard for Grande. Maybe she peaked in creativity with ‘Dangerous Woman’ and ‘thank u, next’. I feel as though Grande has gotten comfortable in knowing her buying and streaming power in this industry, and isn’t interested in improving, knowing her fans will buy and stream anything she puts out.
Even the controversial “34+35” remix wasn’t interesting. It initially got a lot of attention on social media because, aside from the verses from Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, it didn’t actually “remix” the song. Grande didn’t add a new verse, tweak the beat or anything. It was just “34+35” featuring Doja and Megan, not a new spin on a popular song.
When I first heard the remix, I was like, “Go head girl, give us nothing.” It was clear this was just another cash grab for a Number One single with Doja and Megan. The three have been music powerhouses over the last few years, so a song featuring all of them would obviously do really well. It’s just a shame the final product had to end up so dull.
Honestly, I was going to let the remix slide if ‘Positions Deluxe’ turned out to be R&B excellence. But it didn’t even give us enough to gauge it as a deluxe album, because all of the songs were just two or so minutes.
Still, I believe the album isn’t bad, just slightly boring. My highlights of the original album — “34+35”, “motive”, “off the table”, “safety net”, “nasty”, “west side” and “pov” — still sounded great on the deluxe. Though there isn’t a lot of new content to go through, I enjoyed “test drive” and “main thing”. “main thing”, to me, is the best of the new songs, because its production and vocals stand out the most to me.
Hopefully, in the future Ariana Grande albums, we will get more notable content in both its original and deluxe forms. As an Ariana stan to a T, I will still be listening to ‘Positions Deluxe’, but it isn’t the best of her work.