Four years since the release of her last album, Rihanna fans were given exactly what they’ve been waiting for. Since the announcement of her next album, titled “Anti,” fans and other curious people have been speculating what this album could possibly entail.
The deliberation, the tracklist guessing, wondering about features, and most importantly, the long wait, was well worth it. “Anti” went platinum quickly after its release, and the Anti World Tour is set to kickstart in March.
Many diehard fans flocked to Tidal to hear “Anti.” It remained there for a week until it was released for purchase.
The first song on “Anti” is “Consideration” featuring SZA. The song is fresh with a chill vibe that pretty much sets the tone of the album.
“Consideration” acts as an announcement to whoever’s listening that she can hold her own. She wants to be considered a credible artist, not a pop star.
The chorus “Do things my own way, darling / You should just let me / Why you ain’t ever let me grow?” suggests her former label gave her no room to try her hand at crafting her own music.
The third track, “Kiss It Better,” is the album’s standout, with its incredible guitar riffs and vulnerable vocals suggesting this song has to be about much more than an old flame.
When first listening to this song, it feels so powerful that not only could it move whoever to get back with Rihanna, but also could spark any listener to call someone special and apologize, or beg for another chance. Her pleading vocals of, “What are you willing to do? / Oh, tell me what you’re willing to do,” which is followed by her eerily sexy whisper saying, “Kiss it, kiss it better, baby,” showing her vocals are ready for the big leagues.
“Kiss It Better” ends on an amazing guitar solo, and “Work” featuring Drake picks the pace right up. “Work” was the best choice for a lead single. The radio-friendly and Drake-assisted dancehall vacation vibe it gives off is just fit for a soon-to-be summer smash. Up next, the track “Desperado” feels fit for a Tarantino film. Rihanna switches up the dynamic for a more alternative sound. The song is all about figuring out if her love interest will stay or run out on her.
The next shining star is the seventh track, “Needed Me.”
This song slows it down a bit, giving us a more sexy and no holds barred side of her. Her needs suggest a counterpart was only using her to feel good about himself. Clearly, Rihanna was not going out like that, and he ends up pretty sick in the song’s narrative.
The next star on “Anti” is “Same Ol’ Mistakes,” a cover of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.”
The song is all about the singer trying to prove to people they’ve changed, but they just keep reverting to the same old person.
The next prominent song is the last track, a slow, piano pop ballad about losing her other half. The lyrics “Nothing but a tear, that’s all for breakfast / Watching you pretend you’re unaffected / You’re pulling our connections, expecting me to let you go / But I won’t” show Rihanna’s despair and heartache.
Here is where the standard version ends, but if you’re thinking about grabbing a deluxe version of “Anti,” all three songs are worth it.
“Goodnight Gotham,” a rework of Florence + The Machine’s “Only If For A Night,” was surprisingly well-produced. The ghost-like production of Florence + The Machine and their production camp works well with whomever on Rihanna’s end cooked up that blessed one-minute interlude.
“Pose,” the next bonus track serves up the distinct “BadGalRiRi” bossy demeanor we may have missed with “Work.” No matter, “Pose” makes up for any losses in the beat-crazed wishlist for “Anti.”
After keeping her fans waiting with bated breath, “Anti” shows this pop star has yet to run out of steam.
Her forays into alternative rock and dance music continue with this new album, and are sure to please both longtime fans and those who just heard “Work” for the first time.
Sunny Morgan is a first-year pre-major student. She can be reached at SM848270@wcupa.edu. Her Twitter is @sunnyymorgg.