Tidal, the music streaming service fronted by Jay-Z, just can’t seem to win…ever! Now the company has committed the mother of errors by leaking their own exclusive release early!
The error, saw Anti appear online for several minutes, but that was more than enough time for fans to download and share the album like wildfire. Rihanna quickly responded by sharing a link for fans to download the record for free.
The “gift” turns out to perhaps be a good strategic move, as we have a feeling not many casual fans would pay for this album as Rihanna takes an unexpected turn musically.
Previous singles ‘BBHMM’, ‘FourFive Seconds’ and ‘American Oxygen’ are nowhere to be found, only the single Work released a matter of hours before the leak is included in the final 13 tracks. After a three year wait and several release date push backs, the results were somewhat underwhelming.
While the radio-friendly bops are gone, RiRi shows a new layer of herself with a cooler, more experimental vibe that has the critics mixed. While on first experience the results fall flat, the more you listen the better the album becomes.
Consideration (ft. SZA)
The album starts off on a strong note, the new sound is cool and boppy, SZA’s voice compliments Rihanna’s as the beat builds and drops in a chilled vibe. The sweet sound, dub-influenced track is a fresh new sound, but feels more of an intro than a fully fledged song.
An easy going interlude, Rihanna already shared this track last year for 4/20, and opening with the line “I’d rather be smoking weed,” it’s not wonder. Aside from that it is actually a sweet little tune over a whimsical, fun track.
Kiss It Better
The song plays over a busy production with amazing guitar riffs, and sonic mixers, but the outcome is groove-worthy. An 80’s and 90’s vibe is present throughout the soft power ballad. The chorus is killer, and sounds very pretty, but we can’t help deflect Beyonce ‘Dance For You’ vibes. Another good offering.
We reach the first single and this is the single-most bop on the album, the only track we can truly dance to as it is ready-made for the club. She boasts her Barbados heritage, including reggae influences. It’s definately more low-key than her usual singles, but the chorus is mindlessly fun. Drake is never bad, but is far outshone by the main artist.
In reference to the title, the song starts off sinisterly, with beating drums and Rihanna’s trademark husky voice sound like an outlaw. It’s a track that simmers, with cool drops in the beat. Lyrically, the singer makes the track very visual.
Though the title may be worrying, the track is not as bad as it sounds. This one the production is key, almost overwhelming the singer as her voice is muffled and distorted. The sound is killer and you can feel The Weeknd’s influence but it doesn’t quit pack a punch.
The lyrics here are unmistakably Rihanna, as she unapologetically drops a guy in spectacular style. The EDM production sounds like the new wave beats Bieber has been rocking, but RiRi’s dope song is way cooler than that.
Yeah, I Said It
This track is hypnotic as Rihanna slinkily whispers over the beautiful keys. The tempo speeds and slows in all the right places. The sound is sensual and intimate, as the beat sways and the singer softly moans in the distance.
Same Ol’ Mistakes
This marks the best track on the album and truly captures the direction the star is going in, though it is a cover of Tame Impala. The song is dreamy as it flows effortlessly with Rihanna’s smooth vocals. The production is psychadelic and the star is at times almost inaudible as she sings with ease through the pulsating synthesisers. Though it rings in at almost 7 minutes, it’s a shame when it is finally over.
In an abrupt tonal change, Rihanna sings over an acoustic set. The lyrics are unabashed and honest, as the star reveals a more emotional and honest side of herself that is seldom seen. The laid back, and relaxing harmonies allow you to fully acknowledge the singer personal story.
Love On The Brain
From the opening you can feel the vintage influence of the doowop track many stars have been using recently, including Meghan Trainor and Little Mix, though RiRi clearly mixes it up and makes it cooler. The bluesy track has a rock edge, that exemplifies the genre-bending she is attempting with her new era. Her vocals are raw as she hits another highlight of the album. We’re sure this will be released as a single.
Another interlude, Rihanna cries achingly over the beautiful violin strings. Her higher notes register more as screams, though the idea was clearly there it just misses out on being something interest.
Close To You
With each album Rihanna always has that one special piano ballad “Unfaithful”, “Stay”, “Take a Bow”. This track clearly is the instalment for her latest era. Unlike the offerings before, this song is much more subtle and grown up. Her unique vocals are celebrated fully over the sensitive production, resulting in a pretty sound. A beautiful album closer.
The full tracklisting for ANTI:
- Consideration (2:41)
- James Joint (1:12)
- Kiss It Better (4:13)
- Work (3:39)
- Desperado (3:07)
- Woo (3:56)
- Needed Me (3:12)
- Yeah, I Said It (2:13)
- Same Ol’ Mistakes (6:37)
- Never Ending (3:23)
- Love On The Brain (3:44)
- Higher (2:01)
- Close To You (3:43)
Rihanna will support the new album by embarking on a worldwide stadium tour, which starts in San Diego on February 24.