(This is an archived article from the old website, so the name of the author appears incorrectly. The original article was written by Carlos Flores)
Three years of speculation and changing release dates have all lead up to the moment when Rihanna’s eighth studio album, Anti, drops to the masses, giving the world yet another set by the beloved hitmaker.
Anti is not like anything Rihanna has ever released before. There are no songs in this album that you would consider radio friendly. There are no We Found Loves or Pour It Ups. The closest thing to a hit in this album is the Drake collaboration, Work.
At times, the album comes off as weak, but Rihanna’s star power does not fail to shine through. Even with a new sound, her personality comes across through the themes of love, desperation, independence, and most importantly reinvention. This is not an album for the dancefloor, this is the type of album you play when you are kicking back with friends or when in a long car ride.
Among the strongest songs is the collaboration with SZA, Consideration. This and the slow anthem Desperado are some of my favorite tracks, but the best one in the record might be the Tame Impala cover Same Ol’ Mistakes. It is one of those things you did not know you needed. Hearing Rihanna take on the psychedelic vibes of Tame Impala is a very satisfying listen.
Other crucial tracks include the enamored Love On The Brain, the seductive Kiss It Better, and the self-assuring Needed Me. This is an album that appreciates relaxed vibes over catchy hooks. The whole album expresses a subtle confidence that can infect the listener.
Anti was greatly affected by the hype surrounding them. Three years of speculation and three promotional singles that did not make the final cut confused fans. The final product sounds nothing like the marketing for it made it seem like it was going to sound.
This is definitely Rihanna’s first experimental project and that is not at all a bad thing. After seven albums full of radio hits and club anthems, this album gives her career more complexity
Although often underwhelming, “Anti” is definitely worth attention – whether you are a Rihanna fan like myself or not. It is an entertaining listen that feels like a close look into the mind of the ever evolving superstar.