Jason Farr

Review: Rihanna – Anti

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After years of waiting, a song with Kanye West and the announcement of a huge stadium tour, Rihanna finally has a new album to talk about.

Titled “Anti”, the Barbadian superstar released the album for free on Tidal on January 28 – and it’s not exactly what I expected.

Excluding the previously released tracks FourFiveSeconds, B*tch Better Have My Money and American Oxygen, the album is one of the bravest and most experimental that I’ve seen by a mainstream artist to date.

Completely evading the typical banger I am used to on her albums, Anti features a number of creative, controversial and at times, confusing tracks. It has been met with initially lukewarm reviews by many, but others seem to appreciate the steps she has taken.

It may take a while to get used to, but the album actually isn’t bad at all. The lead single, Work featuring Drake, hasn’t quite had the impact of her previously released singles, but it is a likely club hit. The song could be considered as the “banger” of the album.

The first song on the album, Consideration heavily consists of the accent of her home country, as do a few more songs on the album. The song is a strong start to an overwhelmingly diverse project.

Somehow, the tracks collate well to become a body of work. Having being so used to listening to albums flooded with a number of ‘filler-tracks’, the overall flow of the album is quite smooth.

Die-hard Fenty fans will probably have heard snippets of stoner anthem James Joint, as well as Higher and Kiss It Better. The star showcased the creation of the album months ago via social media, as well as releasing James Joint in celebration of 4/20.

The final few minutes of the album are probably the most intriguing, excluding the three extra songs on the deluxe edition.

In its 50’s style, Love on the Brain and Higher are truly emphatic. They showcase the potential in her voice, unlike anything I’ve previously heard and from the Mariah Carey-like whistles to her iconic, powerful raspy notes – they are well worth a listen.

Any fans of Tame Impala should recognise track nine very well. Same Ol’ Mistakes is a cover of their track New Person, Same Old Mistakes, another confusing addition to this already diverse album. However, it is an interesting rendition and received praise from the band itself.

Anti went platinum in no time at all, thanks to the give-away alongside Samsung. However, the album is being slated for its failure in selling physical copies.

The album sold less than 1,000 copies in the United States within the first week of release.

But, this shouldn’t refrain you from buying a copy. The album is very interesting and if you’re a fan of experimental artistry, this one is for you.

Rihanna visits the Stadium of Light on June 18, as part of her Anti World Tour. Some tickets are still available on Ticketmaster.

Anti (Deluxe Edition) track list:

  1. Consideration ft. SZA
  2. James Joint
  3. Kiss It Better
  4. Work ft. Drake
  5. Desperado
  6. Woo
  7. Needed Me
  8. Yeah, I Said It
  9. Same Ol’ Mistakes
  10. Never Ending
  11. Love on the Brain
  12. Higher
  13. Close to You
  14. Goodnight Gotham
  15. Pose
  16. Sex With Me

The album is available on iTunes and Tidal. The CD will be released February 5.

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