Rihanna – ANTi

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SHE’S BACK! SHE’S BACK! SHE’S BACK!

After the VERY long wait for come back with some new material (just over 3 years…) RihRih is back with her eighth studio album titled ‘ANTi’. After releasing FourFiveSeconds back in January of 2015 as a (what then was) lead single, and following singles ‘American Oxygen’ and ‘Bitch Better Have My Money,’ it seems Rihanna was embarking on a different project as those singles have now been scrapped and replaced by a complete different tracklist not involving those for this brand new project.

Having a lot of rumours evolving round this album, including collaborations with Beyonce, and Lady Gaga, it seems that those rumours claimed to be false as they are nowhere to be seen on this album; however, there are still two collaborations on this album, one with Drake (of course) and one with SZA.

it now seems ‘Work’ is now Rihanna’s new lead single with the rest of the album being completely new, as there were no promotional singles to follow.


 

REVIEW  

1. Consideration (feat. SZA)
So, it starts off, not your everyday Rihanna album, however that doesn’t mean to say that’s a bad thing. It’s a great 90′s RnB beat with a chilled instrumental in the background. SZA’s and Rihanna’s voices compliment each other in a peculiar way, but it works for the song. The song itself didn’t exactly leave me excited to listen to the rest of the album. It’s ok. I think it’s worth listening to a few times before really making a judgement on it.
Rate /10: 6

2. James Joint
So, I heard this interlude when Rihanna chucked this online to celebrate 420, and I must admit, this song is divine. The 1:12 interlude maybe short, but through the 1:12 it’s really worth taking to, to listen. The jazz instruments and harmonicas in the background work beautifully to give off this really chilled, lay back feeling. It’s really worth watching a morning sunrise, or an evening sunset to. It also gives off a New York, Jazz snooker club, kind of like the music off that snooker game off the Nintendo Wii. It really is a delight to listen to. I think nearly perfect, just a shame it’s so short.
Rate /10: 9

3. Kiss It Better
This one’s a slow Rihanna song. You know, like Loveeeeee Song, or Skin. Yeah, kind of like those, however this one sounds more like an 80′s love song where you’re cruising down the highway in the sunset because you’ve finally realised how much you’ve gotten over your ex. A lot of sunset feels to this album already… It has a nice slow beat to it and lovely electric guitar singing along with Rihanna’s voice. Yet again, nothing amazing but it does have a nice unique touch to it.
Rate /10: 7

4. Work (feat. Drake)
Officially (apparently) the lead single of ANTi, ‘Work’ offers a new twerking bop to well, obviously bust your moves to. It’s a simple song, but it’s Rihanna’s amazing transition to being Jamaican (or whatever accent you want to call it) that helps the song be so different. Apart from mentioning work about 16 times in one chorus, it has, again quite a simple arrangement to it, but it works. It’s catchy. Drake offers nothing but ‘Drake-iness’ to this song, which is great, because we all love a bit of that somewhere along the line. It’s a real bop to literally bop to if you’re in a club. Would I choose this over FourFiveSeconds? Personally, no, but it could have been a worse situation.
Rate /10: 8

5. Desperado
I’m not sure exactly what to make of this one. Again, typically, it’s one of those you need to listen to a few times before you make a judgement of it. I really like the chorus, but the verses may need a bit of time to get used to. It’s a catchy song with a great beat. I wouldn’t say it’s quite up there with my Rihanna favourites, but there’s nothing really that catches my ears with this one. It’s a good song, not fantastic, but it’s good.
Rate /10: 7

6. Woo
Never thought I would say it (in this case type), but I think I have found my most least favourite Rihanna song. It offers nothing. Literally. It has this really weird beat in the background, muffled by scratchy guitars playing the same tune throughout the song. It’s not a really terrible song, personally, but it certainly is just, not good. Future (although not credited) really is the problem with this song. His auto-tuned mess just “woo’d” it’s way out of being annoying, it was beyond that, and if he wasn’t doing that he was talking in the background. Unfortunately, that was the ‘ANTi-climax’ (see what I did there) to this album. Slightly disappointed with this one.
Rate /10: 3

7. Needed Me
Obviously produced by DJ Mustard, Needed Me is literally just a hit back at the ex basically. It’s a simple beat with a weird dinosaur giving birth sound going on in the background with Rihanna singing over it. I can’t see this one being a favourite among fans from this album. It’s ok. Nothing great, nothing terrible, just ‘meh.’
Rate /10: 5

8. Yeah, I Said It
This one sounds a little like ‘Right Here’ by Justin Bieber and Drake, the arrangement of it. It’s a short one, being only 2:13 and gives nothing away about Rihanna vocally, or artistically. It sounded like just a two-minute bop to slide in to make the album slightly longer. Again, don’t think it will be a fan favourite; I don’t even think it’ll be a song to remember by the Navy in years to come, unlike Numb orPour It Up. Meh.
Rate /10: 5

9. Same Ol’ Mistakes
By what it sounds like, it does seem as if it is inspired by 80′s synths. For the longest song on the album (6:37) it’s a really long drag for a song that is quite repetitive, but yet, it kind of makes it a completely different song. I think my opinion would be slightly different if it were any shorter. It’s ANTi’s version of Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary without the plot twist of a song change a quarter of a way through. Rihanna’s ‘echoey’ singing is appointed over a nice paced back beat and 80′s keyboard synths. It’s a nice chiller. Nothing comes out of the woodworks but it’s a slight improvement over the last 3 songs.
Rate /10: 6

10. Never Ending
A SONG THAT FINALLY FEELS LIKE A RIHANNA SONG. So, this one’s to look out for. It’s a beautiful guitar song with a love song feel to it. It’s mainly lead by Rihanna’s vocals alongside the guitar and throughout the chorus there’s this little hand drum that comes into play, which works rather well. It reminds me of one of those moments in a Dreamworks animated film where it shows a really cute scene and there’s this song that goes well with that scene. One of the best songs on the album, by far.

Rate /10: 8

11. Love On The Brain
If Rihanna was to audition for The X Factor then this song would probably get her through to boot camp. It’s quite an Elvis-themed song with those church organs, and the slow 50′s/60′s rock style to it. It’s a catchy love song, and I must admit it, Rihanna served well on this. I can see Beyonce singing this more, as it’s something she’s done in the past but kudos to Rihanna for slaying it too. In terms of song? It’s actually good. In terms of vocals? Yes mama. Unfortunately it’s nothing I would hype about and made sure everyone knew about it because I think it’s the next hottest hit, but I could be wrong.
Rate /10: 7

12. Higher
Being only 2:01, it’s hard to judge whether this is a song, or another one of those interludes, however, it’s nothing to lose your shit over. It sounds like Rih got a bit too stoned, had one too may whisky’s and started singing over a 1933 vinyl that she had found in an old English cellar somewhere. Again, not one to be remembered, which is a shame because there seems to be a pattern carrying on here.
Rate /10: 5

13. Close To You
Beautiful. Rihanna really delivered with this one. Such a beautiful song. Using only a piano and some soft synths, Rihanna’s voice really sings this song with words that are truly felt along with the instrumental. WHY COULDN’T THE REST OF THE ALBUM DELIVER LIKE THIS?! Without a doubt, one of the top 3 songs on the album. A really nice touch to the closing song of the album.
Rate /10: 8.5

Deluxe Edition

So yeah, there is a deluxe edition of the album. with three extra songs; and no, unfortunately it’s notFourFiveSeconds, Bitch Better Have My Money or American Oxygen.

14. Goodnight Gotham
So, what initially was apparently called ‘Only If For A Night,’ has now turned into ‘Goodnight Gotham,’and if you’ve seen that Dior campaign video that she did, you would have pretty much heard the whole song then. It seems like another interlude, and it’s basically just Rihanna singing the words “only if for a night” over and over again in different voices.
Rate/10: 6

15. Pose
Didn’t enjoy this one little bit. It actually goes up there along with the worst Rihanna songs ever. Absolute mess. The instrumental was just a really bad produced, electronic mess, and I don’t even think Rihanna knows what she’s singing about herself to be perfectly honest. Absolutely terrible. I actually think I prefer ‘Woo’ to this mess.
Rate /10: 1

16. Sex With Me
If you ever want to know what having sex with Rihanna is like, then this is your song, as she doesn’t seem to stop telling you. For a deluxe version, as a finishing song, I don’t think it gives you the ‘wow!’ impression, however it’s a lot, lot better than ‘Pose’. This song just seems to offer you a description of what it’s like to have intimacy with Rih herself over a slow back beat. Was it worth making a deluxe version for this track? No, but then it wasn’t probably worth making a deluxe version for any of the tracks as it seems Goodnight Gotham seems to be the only one worth keeping, and there’s certainly no point in making a deluxe version just for one track. It’s an OK song.
Rate /10: 5


 

 

Conclusion:

So after 3 years and 2 months, do I really feel this album was worth waiting that long? Unfortunately not. Unapologetic still holds reign over best Rihanna album, and this falls closely to the bottom, if not, THE bottom. It’s hard to tell if Rihanna had something else up her sleeve when releasing the previous three singles, but listening to those made me sure that ANTi was going to be an album that wasn’t going to be forgotten in the world of Rihanna. Well, it won’t, but not for the right reasons. Rihanna has either taken a completely different new move in her career, or she’s having one of those crisis albums where it’s just not as good as the rest, which is ok, every artist has one of those, so I guess Rihanna having her first one can be forgiven right? I mean Madonna had that with a few albums, American Lifebeing her main example, or Britney Jean for Miss Spears, or even ARTPOP for Gaga. So for Rihanna to be having one of these situations 8 albums in, I guess that can be forgotten over time, but right now, it’s a problem, especially when you’ve had to wait 3.2 years.

A few songs are great, a few ‘meh’, and the odd couple that really just lacked in everything we had been waiting for. FourFiveSeconds, Bitch Better Have My Money and American Oxygen still should have made the final cut in my eyes, but hey, what can you do? It’s Rihanna we’re talking about here.

Hopefully in time we can all laugh this off and move on, but unfortunately, for an album that looked promising, ANTi-climaxed. Sorry Rih, but you lost out on this one.

Album percentage – 57%

Is it worth buying? If you’re like me, and have all other 7 Rihanna albums then yes, if not, then that then is entirely up to yourself.

Favourite song? James Joint. No explanation needed.

Album cover /10: 8. I must admit, it is actually one of my favourites of all Rihanna albums. It’s different. It’s not like any other Rih album, and in saying that, it’s not like any other album recently released either. The braille really works well. Again, I thought the album cover went really well with what I think the world was expecting from R8, however it does kind of prove in a way not to judge a book (in this case an LP) by it’s cover.

#1 album? It most probably will go to #1 just because of the whole hype of Rih releasing new material in over 3 years, and the fact it’s Rihanna. I don’t believe however it will be as popular as her last 7, so the longevity of the project may not be as strong as the other 7, but who knows.


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Note: ANTi was not available to pre-order/buy at time of review. therefore links may not direct you straight to ANTi

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