“Test Drive” by Ariana Grande
“Test Drive” is very similar in structure to another Positions Deluxe Edition track, “Main Thing“. For instance, the verses of both songs feature metaphors based on the singer’s desire to have hot, passionate sex with her boo, the addressee. Also the choruses of both center on the vocalist’s strong level of commitment to her sweetheart.
Automobile Related Metaphors in “Test Drive”
Though this time around, the sexual references are rather related to the concept of driving or using a car. And at some points, such as when Ariana refers to ‘reclining the seat’, she may be literally singing about doing it in an automobile. But more to the point artistically is once again the metaphors.
For example, the car jargon “pull up” traditionally alludes to the notion of driving a car to a direct point to meet someone. However, here, it is rather used within the context of the addressee coming to meet the singer for some bedroom fun. And this is something that she welcomes.
Moreover the term “rearview”, which is common in the world of automobiles, also has a strong sexual/amorous connotation in the colloquial world. And we’re sure that you get the idea. So when Ariana talks about “drop(ping) the top on that body” no, she is not referring putting down her car’s drop-top roof. And overall said allegories may not be ultra-adult, but at the same time they aren’t overly sophisticated neither.
Meanwhile the choruses feature the singer, as aforementioned, touting her commitment to the addressee. In the song “Main Thing”, the stated reason she feels this way is because her lover is likewise faithfully dedicated to her. But in this case, the implication is that it’s his lovemaking skills which have her hooked.
Indeed in utilizing another car-related allegory, she states that she is “ride or die” for this dude. That means that she will support him no matter what. And the pre-chorus also features one of the rare chases of Ari-chan making a (in)direct reference to her music career in a love song, in that she misses this person when she is “on the road”. However, despite such she asserts that she is “always in control”, which all lyrics considered yet again reads like a statement of her dedication to her significant other.
Then the chorus itself, as it usually does, brings us to the titular metaphor. And what Ariana is saying is that she has no “need to test drive” this relationship. Or stated otherwise, she perceives no necessity to get to know her partner in depth. Rather what she has already been able to gather about him is enough to convince her to commit. And what it is she has gathered, once again, is the fact that he makes exceptional love to her body.
The Addressee of “Test Drive”
Meanwhile Arianators are pretty convinced that the expressed sentiments are geared towards Dalton Gomez. Dalton is a wealthy-class real estate agent Grande got engaged to two months before the release of this track. And such is plausible – if she is harping back to the moment in time when she first decided to dedicate herself to him on such a level.
Or if she is speaking to her current sentiments for him, then the conclusion would be that even after a year of dating and an additional two months of betrothal she still doesn’t know him well. However, he is doing her so good that it really doesn’t matter.
But that particularly assumption doesn’t fit well into the logic of things. For instance, Ariana and Dalton spent a notable amount of time quarantined together. And chances are if you’re quarantined with a lover, you’ll get to know them pretty well even beyond sex.
But conspiracy theories aside, “Test Drive” is most simply described as a love song. But the subtheme is that the singer is in fact in love due to the way her beau puts it on her.
Release of “Test Drive”
This track is from the extended, aka Deluxe edition of “Positions”, the album Ariana Grande dropped in 2020. The Deluxe Edition itself was released by Republic Records on 19 February 2021. And in addition to this track it also featured the following brand-spanking new Ari-chan songs:
And upon release, out of the three, it is “Test Drive” which critics as well as fans are feeling the most. This is not only based on word of mouth but also its performance on popular streaming platforms iTunes and Spotify.
On top of the abovementioned mentioned song, the Positions Deluxe Edition also features a new interlude (“Someone Like U”). Furthermore, it contains the remix of the song “34+35” (ft. Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat).
According to Grande, this track was actually slated to be included on the original release of “Positions”. And she had to make a final decision on whether to include it or the song “Love Language“. She referred to this dilemma as “the hardest decision” she had to make concerning the playlist of the said project. At the end of the day, she of course chose the latter. And according to her, she loves the way things unfolded and wouldn’t want to make any changes to how things played out if given another chance.
Arianators have been aware of the forthcoming of this track since 11 February 2021, when Grande announced its eventual issuance. And a few days later, on 17 February, she further teased “Test Drive” by uploading a snippet of it onto Twitter.
Inspired by “Drivers Licence”?
It is possible that this song may have been inspired by “Drivers Licence“, a track teenaged singer Olivia Rodrigo dropped the month prior that totally blew up. However, it has also been noted that Ariana Grande has a genuine affinity for the act of driving and has harped on such a theme on a number of her songs in the past.
Writing and Production of “Test Drive”
The producers of “Test Drive” are Foster, M. Beatz, Mr. Franks and TBHits. And they all contributed to the writing of the song also, as did Tayla Parx, Ariana and her real life homey, Victoria Monét.