Short Review: Rihanna - ANTI, You Alright, Ri Ri???

Just this past January, Rihanna (or Ri Ri as I like to refer to her) released her 8th studio album Anti and its a definite departure from the fast-paced, digitized party anthems I have come to love from her. Nothing wrong at all with trying something different, however, the overall sound comes off as moody, brooding and in general, kinda dark. Ri Ri told MTV news that regarding the sounds of this album, she wanted songs she considered "timeless" and that could be performed 15 years later. Not sure if these songs will have the same long lasting affect as "Where Have You Been" or "Umbrella" but I respect her for taking a different road which shows ore of her range as an artist. But whether any will actually be timeless, is up in the air.

Here are my short-n-sweet reviews of each track:

Bare bones production but Ri, sings in a snappy and different voice, telling us what's on her mind.

James Joint
Instead of a short 1:12 interlude, this could have been a cool, full on R& B track. Wish there was more! One of the few highlights.

Kiss It Better
A rock-tinged, relationship conflict song.

Heavy bass, somewhat ominous tone.

Unlistenable. The endless, droning noise, the lack of hook. There is just nothing left to say.

Work w/ Drake
This has more of the dance beats and radio-friendly sounds we're accustomed to. The only upbeat song and the first video release.

Needed Me
A tell-off, relationship song, its more
bass-heavy but still low energy.

Yeah I Said It
Ok, this is a bit of the 'Good Girl Done Bad' Ri, that I love with this subdued 'fuck me' theme.

Same 'Ol Mistakes
Lots of '80s-like synth,
this has a dark,
mysterious sound, with a droning, forgettable hook.

Never Ending
Soft, acoustic, moody but reflective.

Love on the Brain
Slight '50s sound, presenting Rihanna's strongest vocals on the entire album.

Another interlude but with another nice retro sound. That is til the vocals come in. She gets really screechy vocally here. Like really hard to listen to without wincing and you feel like her thin voice will break at any moment. This literally hurt my ears.

Close To You
Finally, we get to the BEST song on the entire album. Backed by a graceful piano, this track is a bit melancholy and emotion-filled but has the most heart.

Final thoughts? Overall, the album as a whole feels dreary, downbeat and moody, which begs the question, is Ri Ri ok? I mean I'm a bit concerned she's going through some things. And I get that she is showing her musical range reaches beyond just fun dance tracks; that's fine but this feels downright somber. Regardless, there are enough singable tracks to hit the charts but more that are easily forgettable.

Overall grade : C

Lady Dulayne

Music junkie, Baltimore chick, Jedi mom, karaoke queen,'80s kid, hair and makeup fanatic, currently keeping up with a daily Greek yogurt habit.

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