Rihanna’s Anti review
Music Reviews / /
The wait is over but was it worth waiting so long? After 3 long years and many singles like; “Monster” (Eminem’s track), “Can’t remember to forget you” with Shakira, "FourFiveSeconds" (with Kanye West and Paul McCartney), “Bitch better have my money”, as well as couple new songs for the “Home” soundtrack, Rihanna is back. But is this album giving us what we’ve been expecting?
Last week, after months (actually year and couple months) of teasers, a whole set of promo cryptic videos, plus the launch of the official artwork by Roy Nachum in LA’s MAMA Gallery, and countless magazine covers, Rihanna presented the first official single of her long expected album “Anti”.
The song named “Work” features her buddy Drake, and in fact is a reggae-pop song, but it's definitely not the club banger we expected to explode as the album’s first single. The song’s most similar to Rihanna’s “Man down”, with a more tweaked R&B sound, incorporating dub and dancehall elements.
The first single put aside, the album is pure gold, if you give it a chance. Yes it is quite confusing, something like mashing up Coldplay’s ballads with Amy Winehouse’s style, experimental 90s R&B sound, dash of auto-tuned vocals, “island flavored” rhythmic repetitions, raw guitars, back-off piano, Rihanna’s raw vocals and what not.
But at the end of the day, this is exactly what was expected from the “grown-up” Rihanna, an album that bares her soul, goes against the EDM trend and manufactured pop, eventually separating her from the crowd. The albums core concept is perfectly described in the poem that came along with the artwork, saying: “I sometimes fear that I am misunderstood, what I chose to say is of so much substance that people won’t understand the depth of my message.”
If you are still looking for something that old Rihanna brought on this album we suggest to take a listen to “Kiss it better”. Mine personal pick would be the jazz-y ballads “Close to you” as well as “Love on the brain”. Also check out Rihanna’s take on "New Person, Same Old Mistakes" originally performed by Tame Impala.
Wrapping up, “Anti” is the bold step towards independence & free creative expression that Rihanna makes. It could be easily be compared to Britney’s “Blackout” or Aguilera’s “Bionic”, albums that in the time released have been so underrated but as time passes, they become referenced as the artist’s best effort.
“Anti” will be supported with a massive world tour starting February 26th. This summer, you can see her in Europe as well, concert dates from June 11th.