"Positions is a loved-up wallow in every aspect of a newish serious relationship, from relaxed domesticity to worries about whether this one can really last, to extraordinary quantities of sex," said David Smyth of The Evening Standard.
"Grande's voice is a thing of great beauty, swooping and fluttering above a plush musical backdrop that's dominated by violins and cellos this time."
But while praising the vocals and the musical arrangements, he said the lyrical content left much to be desired.
"It's often said that such a talent could sing the phone book and make it sound beautiful. Grande gives it a good go, rarely attempting to explore her situation in poetic terms."
Several critics noted that Positions is the raunchiest musical offering of Grande's career. The album and lead single's title, coupled with songs such as 34+35 leave little doubt about what Grande is singing about.
"Ariana has one thing on her mind: sex. So much sex," wrote Alim Kheraj of i-D. "The subsequent 13 tracks are some of the horniest songs that Ariana has ever released.
"All this romantic romping might be too much for some, especially given that we're however many months into a pandemic that, for many of us, has put a pause on any amorous or intimate activities."
Ariana Grande's "Positions" debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, while Luke Combs' "Forever After All" bounds in at No. 2.
Grande earns her fifth Hot 100 leader and extends her record for the most No. 1 debuts on the Hot 100, as all five of her No. 1s have blasted in at the summit.
Meanwhile, Combs makes the highest Hot 100 entrance ever for a core country male soloist.
The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming, radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated Nov. 7) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Nov. 3). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Here's a deeper look at the coronation of "Positions," released Oct. 23 on Republic Records as the title track from Grande's new album, released Oct. 30. The song is the 1,113th No. 1 in the Hot 100's 62-year history.
Streams, sales & airplay: "Positions" drew 35.3 million U.S. streams and sold 34,000 in the week ending Oct. 29, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It also tallied 19.9 million radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending Nov. 1.
The track opens at No. 1 on the Streaming Songs chart, where it's Grande's third leader, No. 2 on Digital Song Sales and No. 41 on Radio Songs.
Tim Henson is no stranger to covering massive pop hits – who could forget his killer harmonic-embellished take on Ginuwine’s Pony? – but the Polyphia guitar hero has outdone himself with his latest reimagining of Ariana Grande’s blockbuster new single, Positions.
In the video above – appropriately entitled Pop Song Shred – Henson opens the track with the original’s nylon-string intro, before switchin’ to an Ibanez AZ to transform Grande’s vocals into a very Polyphia-sounding solo showcase.
In between nailing Grande’s vocal inflections, Henson deploys hybrid picking to switch rapidly between bass and treble strings, throwing in a host of wide sweeps, dizzying pentatonic runs and a few cheeky two-hand taps to boot.
To paraphrase the original artist, it’s like Tim’s in the Olympics, the way he’s jumpin’ through hoops.
Some of guitar’s biggest names agree, with Mateus Asato dubbing the cover "so great" and Manuel Gardner Fernandes commenting "damn baby" when Henson shared the clip on Instagram.
If you dig Henson’s take, he’s posted tabs and backing tracks up on his official site, w6rst.com.
In a Nov. 1 clip, Pap Galore caught up with the TikTok influencer to get her thoughts on Ariana Grande's recent criticism of TikTokers flocking to the Saddle Ranch in Los Angeles during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I don't really know what to think," replied the "Naughty List" singer from behind her face mask. "I mean, she's right. She's right yeah. She's a queen. I love her." Now embarking on her own singing career, Dixie, 19, said she would love to collaborate with the "7 rings" singer.
During an Oct. 30 virtual interview on the Zach Sang Show, Ariana called out famous TikTokers asking, "Couldn't we have stayed at home just a few more weeks, like all the other countries that are fine and better than we are?"
"Did we all need to go to f--king Saddle Ranch that badly that we couldn't wait for the deathly pandemic to pass?" the Grammy winner asked. "Did we all need to put on our cowgirl boots and ride a mechanical bull that bad? We all needed that Instagram post that badly?
Ariana Grande has hit out at the 'straight, white, old men' running for election.
The Thank U, Next hitmaker admitted she was 'very nervous' about the presidential race between 74-year-old President Donald Trump and 77-year-old Joe Biden and she feels there needs to be more diversity among those who run for office as it's not representative of modern America.
'I really hope that we're able to make a difference and take back our power this year,' the crooner said while on the Zach Sang Show.
How are we gonna get this right for a country that is made up of so many different, diverse, beautiful people if the whole s**t is being run by straight, white, old men?' she said.
Last year, Ariana partnered with HeadCount, which allowed her fans to register to vote at concert venues while attending her Sweetener tour. She was pleased to be able to play a part, said Grande.
She said: 'It was cool to have HeadCount on tour with me and to be able to register over 20,000 people.'
Meanwhile, the 27-year-old star hit out at young people who have continued to gather at big parties against official advice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Referencing Western-themed restaurant Saddle Ranch – which is popular with TikTok stars and influencers – she said: 'Couldn't we have just stayed at home for a few more weeks?