The Wait Is Over.
I urge anyone who isn’t a fan of Rihanna or just simply does not like her to give this album a try. Forget absolutely everything you know about her musically, this is a definite game-changer for her. This album strays far from the expected club-banger and pop music we are all used to hearing from her. I can confidently say that this album will include at least one track that everyone will enjoy, no matter what genre you normally listen to. It is full of vocal surprises and stylistic contortions that make the wait way worth it. No desperate club-bangers. No attempts to make chart topping singles. She really takes it back to the music and her growing maturity is very clearly displayed in her track choices as well as her physical vocal ability.
Anti is the only way to describe this albums none conformist approach. ‘Consideration’ featuring SZA is simply brilliant. Her ability to use her accent to accentuate the meaning of the lyrics over a very simple hip-hop beat will have anyone engrossed. Her flow is reminiscent of early Beyonce’s rap-singing and maybe even Lauryn Hill, with an island touch. And the unexpected feature with SZA is a great vocal addition. The leading track ‘Work’, is very simplistic but, again, her seductive Bajan accent works well behind the reggae-pop production. The tropical synths marry the keyboards perfectly to create a fun concoction, layered by the auto tuned harmonies and slurred vocals. At a house party or club, everyone will be drunkenly slurring “work work work work”. And Drake’s feature is very… Drake (that’s all that needs to be said).
From her cover of Australian rock band Tame Impala’s ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ to the more soft rock ‘Kiss It Better’, rock fans are sure to get their fix as well. ‘Desperado’ is also another smokey and sinister sounding track, with the singers melody lending it’s to a parabolic shape, sure to give you a trip. She displays her raspy and soulful side in the short but sweet ‘Higher’, a contemporary love ballad. Warning: Do not listen to this at 12am by yourself or you will text things that you will regret in the morning.
This album is absolutely nothing like her last 7 albums. Rather it is an amalgamation of her decade career, discovering and exploring different sounds and genres, and finally singing with class and maturity. This is a new awakening for her and her fans and the growth is very evident.
By Kelly Kiesewetter