Despite perhaps the messiest album rollout of all time, the queen is back. Rihanna’s first album in over three years – subject to countless delays – features none of the singles she released in 2015, rather all new material and an almost entirely new direction. And the album, which she finally dropped on January 28, might be Rih’s boldest move yet.
Noted for 40 top 10 hits throughout her less-than-11-year career, it would be expected for the singer to put out another collection of dancey, catchy tracks. But instead, she decided to go a bit more experimental, even more minimal on some songs. Completely defying what’s expected, ANTI is a true testament to Rihanna’s famous “no fucks given” attitude. Aside from “Work,” the lead single (featuring Drake) that dropped just before the full album, there are no frontrunners for what could be top tracks. Sure, Rihanna’s loyal fanbase and captivity of all things pop culture will surely push the album forward, but it could be a strange change of pace for casual listeners. However, this is perhaps the best her vocals have ever sounded, with a complete transformation to be heard on the doo-wop-inspired “Love on the Brain,” or the explosive ballad, “Higher.”
It seems like Rihanna’s in a major transition in terms of her music, something that could potentially bring ANTI some mixed reviews; instead of a clear destination, she still seems to be in transit. But the multifaceted experimentation she plays with makes for an exciting journey. We all know that she captivated the music, fashion, and overall entertainment scene years ago, so there’s no denying her right to do – and create – whatever the fuck she pleases.
Check out ANTI here, and share your thoughts below!