Several delays, title change, and a “leak” later, Rihanna has now unleashed her highly anticipated eighth studio album “ANTI” to her navy.
“ANTI” is formulated by a range of colorful producers and songwriters, and packaged with only three features. SZA assists her on the opening track “Consideration” while her and Drake teamed up once again for the albums new leading single, the dance-hall wannabe “Work,” that’ll serve as a club contender, along with the deluxe edition track “Pose.” Aside from that, “ANTI” doesn’t have anything to offer her navy fans that aren’t interested in anything outside her party records. Sure there’s “Needed Me” where she chastises old acquaintances for catching feelings, and the 80’s cinematic sex ode “Kiss It Better,” that are set to become fan favorites, but will miss the club mark, yet still has the potential to make a mark on the charts.
On the sex driven Timbaland produced track “Yeah, I Said It” Rihanna reiterates her promises made about what can go down in the bedroom, after declaring and trying to convince herself she’s no longer in love with and ex on the previous track “Woo,” assisted by Travis Scott.
“I don’t really even care about you, I don’t even really care about you no more”
The album climaxes and transitions with her cover of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” off their 2015 album “Currents.” Now titled “Same Ol’ Mistakes” Rihanna stays true to the songs original sound that hypnotizes you with its lyrics and funky melodic tone. The following songs of the LP sound like the B-side of a cassette. Trailing is the self-reflecting balled “Never Ending,” where she vulnerably sings over a guitar with amazing chord progression. Rihanna flex’s her falsetto and bares her soul on the bluesy doo-wop “Love On The Brain,” right before she does a drunk and dial on “Higher,” which should have closed the album. Over a pair of strings that perfectly compliments the emotional state that has taken her over the edge to make the call. Her first few drunk uttered words set the tone and says it all “this whiskey got me feeling pretty.” The song flirts with the late Amy Winehouse, but showcases personality as her intoxicated plea goes on before it abruptly ends at two minutes as if she never made the call.
With “ANTI” Rihanna proved to be a fighter. As pal Kanye West went missing as executive producer of the project, and a few failed single attempts that caused the album to be postponed, she still presented solid material. It showcases her growth vocally and as an artist, also providing her with a nice batch of songs to compliment her live set list. “ANTI” is an album for music lovers of all genres, and although she may have stepped into new music territory and away from her traditional sound, she hasn’t necessarily abandoned it. The LP’s explicit lyrics remind you that you can try out new things and remain true to yourself, all while being ANTI.