Rihanna’s ANTI is a bit of a mess

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Now I am a fan of Rihanna and I have been looking forward to ANTI for a while but I am not sold on it at all. It is very different to her usual stuff, not at all radio-friendly and nothing you can party to.

I was not too impressed with 2012’s Unapologetic so I figured she would return to form with ANTI but this is even further away from her Loud/Rated R prime. Those are the kind of songs I love Rihanna for so I really wanted some of that on ANTI but there is literally none. No club bangers, no obvious single and nothing you can properly sing your heart out to. Shame.

When her lead single Work dropped yesterday, I was so underwhelmed – the lyrics are so poor and she doesn’t sound like she is singing actual words – and that is just the general feeling with the entire album. On first listen the only tracks that grabbed my attention were Kiss It Better (awesome guitar and chorus), Never Ending (gorgeous, my favourite) and Tame Impala cover Same Ol’ Mistakes – which is odd since it was only used on their album Currents last year. Other stand-outs on second listen include Close to You and Consideration.

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Then we have the other end of the scale – the really unpleasant ones. They don’t even feel like songs – they are just moody, atmospheric, mid-tempo, forgettable and without a distinctive chorus. The ones that fall into this category include Desperado, Yeah, I Said, Needed Me and Woo, which is the worst. It sounds like it should be in a sci-fi movie. I also didn’t like Higher because she was trying to sing more powerful than she is able and it sounds so strained. Not a nice noise.

The whole thing is a total mess. Yeah, there are a few that are good but they are bogged down by the god awful ones. I wanted a new Disturbia, S&M or Only Girl (In the World) but there is nothing like that on ANTI. There are no dancey beats and catchy hooks. Some of them are just so ‘meh’ it’s infuriating! And some don’t even sound like her kind of song – like Love on the Brain, which sounds like something a old-style crooner would sing in a smoky bar with a vintage microphone. Totally baffling. Also, where the hell is Bitch Better Have My Money, FourFiveSeconds and American Oxygen??!!

I can’t imagine myself listening to the entire thing again – so it’s a relief she let us have it for free! Let’s hope she’s got the experimentation out of her system now and will go back to the people pleasing party songs we were all craving.

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