Rihanna has become one of this generation’s most influential popstars, ever since she burst on to the scene with the iconic masterpiece that is Pon De Replay. However, after nearly ten years in the music industry, opinions remain very much divided over the singer, with some people scrutinising her taste in everything from lyrics, outfits, even boyfriends – and others obsessing over it.
Simply put, you either love Rihanna or you hate her. For some people out there, ‘ANTI’ is just another bunch of songs that they will never listen to. But for devoted fans of the international superstar, Rihanna’s seventh studio album is a God-send – and completely worth the wait.
It has been three years since Rihanna released her last album, ‘Unapologetic’, so it is completely understandable as to why fans were becoming more and more eager to hear new material. In between her sixth and seventh album, fans were teased with three singles – the acoustic, almost country like Four Five Seconds featuring Kanye West and Paul McCartney, the slightly edgier American Oxygen, and of course the undeniably catchy Bitch Better Have My Money. Taking these three very different songs into consideration, what does ‘ANTI’ exactly have in store for fans?
The first single from the album, Work, featuring Drake was welcomed with mixed reviews, but overall it is proving to be a hit with fans. Rihanna and Drake are renowned for their great chemistry, as proved by massive hits What’s My Name? and Take Care, and this song certainly seems to live up to the standard of their two previous collaborations. The lyrics and rhythms within the song contain elements very similar to the reggae and R’n’B inspired album ‘Loud’, one of Rihanna’s most successful albums (and some would argue her best). Other songs which have proved popular amongst fans since the album’s release are Kiss It Better, an edgy song keeping in tone with 2009 album ‘Rated R’, and Woo, a song that transports fans back to ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’, Rihanna’s second album.
The reason that Rihanna is such a successful artist in her own right is due to her ability to experiment with different styles of music and pull them off effortlessly, hit after hit, number one after number one. Think about it – there is nothing this woman is afraid to sing. Rihanna’s debut album, A Girl Like Me, was pure pop perfection. Two albums later Rihanna swapped innocent lyrics for a much edgier sound in Rated R. Talk That Talk included high energy dance tracks such as We Found Love featuring Calvin Harris. ‘Unapologetic’ favoured much slower songs with meaningful lyrics, such as Diamonds and Stay.
Rihanna’s fans have remained loyal to her because they know that every album is going to be a surprise, and ‘ANTI’ is no exception. Although the album has no distinct sound, it is unique in the sense that there is a combination of different music styles, showcasing both Rihanna’s vocal range and versatility as an artist. After months of promotion, ANTI is finally here for the world to listen to (the album is free to download on streaming service Tidal) and even if it is three years again before another album is released that will not matter to the fans because it will be worth the wait. Love her or hate her, Rihanna is going to continue to take the world by storm, as each album is a gift that keeps on giving.