Review of Anti by Rihanna
After a very long wait, Rihanna finally gave the world what they have been waiting for (well what seems like the entire social sphere anyway). Not since 2012 have we been treated to an album of new material from Rihanna, and our Bajan beauty hasn’t let us down with Anti.
After “apparent” singles such as the brilliant Bitch Better Have My Money, Rihanna finally delivers her body of music, albeit a little early thanks to a leak. The complete sound is a bit different and feels a bit more focussed and mature as Rihanna develops as an artist. After such a long wait and due to the fanfare it feels only right we give a full review and dissect track by track, so here goes.
Close To You
A heartelt, stripped back almost acoustic track. The lyrics an Rihanna’s delivery are sympathetic to the emotion that is being portrayed and the beautiful piano accompaniment draws the listener in. This track really showcases the fact that despite all of Rihanna’s bravado, she does in fact have a beautiful voice.
Consideration starts with distorted and dirty beats. Rihanna enters the fray with more of a Pom De Replay feel. Her distinct cajan twang flies through. The whole thing is a mix of styles and shows Rihanna in a positive light in what seems to be a relationship that may be one sided (and not in her favour). I actually really love this as a piece of music and is much closer to the style of Rihanna I think makes her unique.
Deep beats that wouldn’t be a miss and some pretty serious sounding Rihanna vocals result in a rather serious track. Desperado discusses Rihanna not really liking her situation but also being openly honest about not liking the thought of being on her own. Really well produced track that is obviously laced with meaning for Rihanna.
Starts with a slow yet upbeat, electronically treated backing track. Rihanna’s distinctive vocal kicks in with an emotionally fuelled delivery. Now whether or not this is the production version I have, but her vocal seems to get stretched in parts (maybe deliberately) but it does get uncomfortable at times. Not a stronger interlude for me.
This one kicks off with a bit of a slow, almost hallucinogenic opening and even talks about smoking weed right from the off. Rihanna uniquely includes her “industrial language” in this short interlude, which does however have a nice feel to it.
Kiss It Better
Opens with a guitar rift that wouldn’t be out of place in a surreal scene in Bill and Ted movies. Accompanied by a simple retro sound throughout, Rihanna uses her vocal with great effect to lift the whole thing. What feels like a definite single, this one has genuine commercial appeal.
Love on the Brain
The great intro sets you up for a lovely retro love song. Rihanna then pitches her vocal perfectly and feels like an old Motown singer, accompanied by the occasional male backing vocal. The pitch does change at moments as Rihanna’s attitude to lift the whole thing above a standard ballad. The lyrics do that as well of course.
A weird electronic opening which sounds a little like a dog barking, breaks to a Hip Hop intro. Then Rihanna puts it in hard both lyrically and vocally. This one she is pissed off and she will let you all know. The backing could be distracting and over produced but you forgive that when Rihanna kicks in and belts out her vocal.
Starts with a lovely musically start, real low key and Rihanna’s vocal is pitched in a lovely way. Really stripped back track that again borders on acoustic.
Same Ol’ Mistakes
Serious opening with funk laced beat and retro synth playing. This is one of the longest tracks on the album at over six minutes. This will definitely be a fans’ favourite. Brilliantly produced with many levels in the track. Rihanna again delivers brilliant vocals which over-run each other. This is definitely one the highlights of the album in terms of commercial air play but also a triumph for the production team.
Woo is a great example of the eclectic nature of the album. Unusual opening musically and the actually Woo to kick off is a great false opening in to what to expect. Rihanna thunders in with strong vocals to change the pace. The vocals have some weird effects on them as the track develops, but the whole thing hangs together. Maybe just me, but I expected more of a beat to kick in and earlier. Sadly I think it has the makings of a great track but it falls short. I know I will eat my words as this will sell millions and after more listens I will love it. That’s the troublle with reviewing on first listen
Now we all know this one. Feels almost pointless reviewing as you all know this is a pure banger. A bit of electronic feel but with a good dancehall touch to Rihanna’s vocal. Simply a great track and one I know all Rihanna fans just love.
Yeah, I Said It
A slow opener to the track with Rihanna providing hushed vocals, yet somehow still delivering amazing ability.
The album overall feels like a collective of great songs. A few bangers and some obvious commercial hits, however it doesn’t feel necessarily like an album. Not an issue in the sense there is good music and this is bound to fly. Overall its a bit slower and more controlled than previous albums, which in my opinion is good.