Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Album Review, Anti, Rihanna

Online Album Cover

Posted on February 08, 2016 in Arts & Culture, Music
By USM Free Press

By Bradford Spurr

It has been three years since Rihanna has released an album. Fans have been forced to listen to teasing singles in order to satisfy their RiRi fix. Anti, her eighth studio album, was released in the midst of the most talked about social media/pop culture moment in recent months.

The situation revolves around the now infamous Twitter rant from the one and only Yeezy, a.k.a Kanye “I’mma let you finish” West. West apparently took something that Wiz Khalifa tweeted in an insulting way towards his wife, Kim Kardashian, and then retaliated attacking Khalifa and Amber Rose. Amber Rose then weighed in and dropped some knowledge about some of the less than savory aspects of Kanye West’s life, and it all died down after four hundred  million people viewed this Twitter exchange. So when Rihanna released her album in the middle of all this controversy, it was difficult to for her album’s release to be in the spotlight.  

The announcement went nearly unnoticed because of some Twitter turmoil that took place during the same period, which is a shame this album is definitely good. It opens with “Consideration” featuring SZA, an artist who has been creating waves in the music community recently for the off-the-wall hip hop that is gaining national radio airplay.

“Consideration” is a slowly drawn out battle cry that sets the tone for the rest of the record. It is mellow and percolates in the listener’s  head. This song leaves a lingering feeling that this record is not a magnum opus but rather a reminder  of her claim to the crown, of hip hop. Along with funny  one liners about covering things in glitter, the chorus delivers the main message of the song, “I got to do things my own way darling, will you ever let me, will you ever respect me? No. Do things my own way darling, you should just let me, why you ain’t ever let me grow?” Rihanna has seemed to age well and has shown that through this new album.  

Rihanna’s music has grown more mature throughout her eight albums, as it should. Her music has transformed into something that other artists  should aspire to in an industry dominated by male artists that are more obsessed with ego than art. There is an appearance from Drake on the track “Work.” The hook is just Rihanna mumbling “work” over and over again until it devolves into something that reminds you of words but sounds more like they recorded a Hooked On Phonics session in a preschool.

“We just need a face to face, you could pick the time and the place, you spent some time away, now you need to forward and give me all the [Work X6],” are the lyrics  delivered from the reigned-in rap behemoth that is the champagne papi, a term given Drake gave himself on Instagram, and in a tone that seems more appropriate for a commencement address than for the inevitable club hit that is “Work.”

The message is clearly developed come the back half of the album and on one of the least imposing tracks, “Higher,” Rihanna croons into a sweeping high point about love, in a distant form.

“And I know I could be more creative and come up with poetic lines but I’m turnt up off sizz’ (and I love you), is the only thing that’s in my mind.” We could all use a little love in our lives and the Barbados queen is happy to oblige.


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