Pressure from the success of Thank You, Ariana Grande's Next lead single is extremely high expectations. Will Positions meet that expectation?
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From the Sweetener era until now, Ariana Grande has probably found a pretty successful hit formula: a bit of pop, a bit of R&B, a little bit of trap mixed together with soaring vocals, sweet like sugar at the same time. the topic has the ability to create trends on social networks. Both No Tear Left To Cry and Thank You, Next have applied this formula and have great success, continuously bringing the name of Ariana to new steps in her career.
In particular, the blockbuster Thank You, Next brought the first # 1 Ariana Grande on the Billboard Hot 100, opening a brilliant era for the new generation of main pop girls. The song with a very youthful message, sometimes slanting but extremely intelligent when it accurately touches young people's problems, incorporates skillful half-pop half-pop sounds, Thank You, Next converge all factors to be successful.
However, with the same move, to the audience, the first time will be surprised, the second time is enjoyable, but the third time everything seems to have gradually become boring. Thank You, Next's success is partly due to the fact that it was released shortly after the era Sweetener, taking advantage of the heat and creating an unpredictable mutation. Up to the present time, almost 2 years have passed since the most successful lead single in the career, with no unexpected factors supporting, it is difficult for Positions to repeat the old success.
And a rather unexpected solution was chosen by Ariana's production team, which is to bring the song back to one of the familiar R&B formats - Contemporary R&B. The melody and guitar influences throughout Positions are quite similar to the R&B versions of the 2000s, but they also wear a more modern coat with traps, with electronics. However, the song has a very short structure, there is almost no space for the sound performances like so many songs on the album Thank You, Next did and was successful, so the performance in This is mainly devoted to Ariana's voice.
Remember in the debut album Yours Truly, Ariana Grande brings vocal performances like a copy of Mariah Carey with fast, difficult note runs and challenges herself with towering notes. Later albums, with pop colors mixed more densely, we see less of that.
At Positions this time, her stage is back. But no longer a young, passionate girl with an excess desire to show off her skills, Ari opted for more subtle ways. First, she challenged herself with a song that uses an extremely fast rhythm from start to finish. Especially from pre-chorus to chorus, Ari shows the ability to capture a firm, comfortable rhythm to master the entire segment without a bit of effort. Especially in verse 2, despite the intense rhythm of the song, Ariana still cleverly applies both ad-libs and melisma, just enough to make a difference with verse 1.
Second, despite the lack of a dramatic high note in the song, Ariana still knows how to play her high pitch with a whistle near the end. Although only hidden in the sound class, we still see Ariana's willingness to play and great effort in vocal training to get a whistle not quite as beautiful as the queen of this subdivision Mariah Carey, but the certainty is. there is redundancy.
It must be said again, although Positions is produced with a very high level of perfection with a new direction and perspective compared to what Ariana Grande has done, it proved too "gentle" compared to her seniors. ahead. To say there is a song that really leaves an iconic mark like No Tear Left To Cry or Thank You, Next, the Positions is almost nonexistent. Moreover, it is too little pop material, too pure R&B, not even new R&B materials like Thank You, Next and there is no explosive climax like No Tear Left To Cry. , Positions didn't seem to weigh enough as a lead single, despite the fact that it showed a lot of Ariana's ambitions and the production team.
Less pop positions, hard-to-hear Positions, ... are the comments of the fans. It is quite "gentle" compared to a lead single, but from the perspective of someone who enjoys the music and is looking forward to the development of Ariana Grande, Positions is enough to satisfy. It introduced a bold R&B version of Ari, a version not seen by fans for a long time that has come back with much more maturity.