Leading to the release of her sixth studio album ‘Talk That Talk‘ this coming week, Rihanna has been slowly whetting our appetites with the release of exquisite promo pictures(checkout previously released art here and here). Having listened to the Barbadian singer’s 11-track new album, I can assure you that much like the art, you won’t be let down. In fact, the art captures the mood of the album to a tee. The album is filthy, sexy, raunchy, risqué and undoubtedly Rihanna’s best work to date.
Starting with album opener and second single ‘You Da One‘, which can be seen as ‘Man Down‘ ‘s more polished and beautiful Caribbean sister. The mid-tempo reggae song, with a dubstep breakdown, shows how much the 23-year-old’s sound has matured over the years. Although not the best track on the album, this is a nice way to usher fans into the new Rihanna era.
Then there is the much hyped-up title track, featuring rapper Jay-Z and sampling Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘I Got A Story To Tell’. This is the first of four highlights on the album and will most certainly go on to be the most commercially successful cut off the album. The StarGate-produced hip hop track is dancey and just as memorable as the two’s 2007 collaboration ‘Umbrella’. While the two held back a little on ‘Umbrella’, here they go all out, with Rihanna even getting Hov to drop some dirty verses as he raps “I be trying to chill, bitches wanna fuck me, every little city I go, fuck me”, and Rihanna urging him back by singing, “come on let me know if you want some more, you know what I like right now get it right, boy talk that talk to me all night”. The queen of dirty singing is without a doubt in her element here.
‘Roc Me Out’ is a classic raunchy Riri pop song, reminiscent of ‘Rude Boy’ and ‘S&M’. This is another highlight on the album and will blow up as a radio single, with Rihanna cooing “I’ve been a bad girl, daddy, won’t you come get me?”, just before the catchy hook kicks into full gear.
‘Watch N’ Learn’ is very similar to the previously mentioned track, but far less memorable. The song is strongly influenced by late ’90/early ’00 R&B-hip hop, think TLC.
A song that will remind most of ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ is the Dr. Luke-produced ‘Where Have You Been’, which starts with a sick acoustic beat and runs through a trancestep beat. This is the most upbeat track on the album since lead single ‘We Found Love’– both written by Calvin Harris. But unlike the latter, the lyricism isn’t as lazy, making it all the more fun.
Then comes the most poorly packaged song on the album, with the final cut sounding like it was recorded on a cellphone and Riri had a bad case of nasal congestion. Bangladesh-produced track ‘Cockiness(Love It)’ has got the most sexually-explicit lyrics on the entire album and possesses what could go down as the most iconic line of Rihanna’s career, “Suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion”. Some will find the song liberating, some tacky, some below the belt and some downright outrageous. Either way Rihanna proves that she can talk that talk on this one, and she keeps it real.
In the many changing faces of Rihanna on the album, as far as love in concerned, she finally shows her vulnerable side singing about an addictive lover on ‘Drunk On Love’. The track is almost a ballad, but quite dancey and mid-tempo just like ‘You Da One’. The song samples English band The xx’s ‘Intro’ and is another album highlight.
Just when you thought Rihanna is a sex-crazed puppet, she takes it down a notch and the end result is surprisingly the most soothing, heartfelt and beautiful two ballads. ‘Farewell’ and ‘We All Want Love’ showcase the singer’s vocal range. ‘Farewell’ is an epic album closer and the last of four highlights on the album. The ballad rivals two of Rihanna’s best career ballads — ‘Take A Bow’ and ‘Unfaithful’.
Photos Via ONTD