One of Positions’s most salient qualities is that it sees Grande singing with a newfound bluntness that’s at once unabashedly horny, playful, and deeply funny. “34+35” is probably the most… um…. direct song on the record, featuring lines like: “If I put it quite plainly/ Just give me them babies”; “Even though I’m wifey/ You can hit it like a side chick”; and “Can you stay up all night?/ Fuck me ’til the daylight.” It’s not some big innuendo like the record’s title-track, but a flagrant sex song.
The video, on the other hand, is a lot more silly than the song’s blush-inducing lyrics, provocatively winking at the viewer rather than completely baring it all. In it, Grande is decked out in a lab coat as she leads a group of scientists on a mission to build the perfect fembot.
With all of the dated lab gear, goofy robot sidekick, and shots of Grande rolling around in a hall of ’60s-style polka dots, it seems to be an homage to the fembot scene in Austin Powers. By the end, Grande and her backup dancers even don the fluffy nightgowns that the machine-ladies wear in that movie — but no, there is no Mike Myers cameo.
Grande looks like she’s genuinely having a really fun time playing both the robot and the scientist, and the closing of the clip confirms that. Here it cuts to behind-the-scene footage of its director, Director X (“Hotline Bling”, “Con Altura”), goofing around with Grande and her cast members. Check it out below.
In our review of Positions, Grande’s sixth album, Consequence of Sound writer Mary Siroky noted: “It’s daring. It’s showy. It’s wildly theatrical — and it gives Ariana the space to do all the things she does best.”