‘ANTI’ did not blow me away. After “Bitch Better Have My Money”, I was expecting the baddest album this year (on a par with Kanye and Kendrick Lamar’s surprise release). But this album is totally incoherent. There are some rap beats, some Barbadian influenced tunes, a bit of electric and some crap ballads. On “Needed Me”, “Yeah I Said It”, “Desperado” and “Work”, Rihanna’s vocals are effortless and cool. However, that voice can do anything- hence why we all love Rihanna. Her versatility is incredible and ANTI really shows off her vocal ability. You’ll hear a handful of really powerful lines but altogether the lyrics aren’t great. She’s trying too hard. The references to drugs are too forced and frequent in tunes like “James Joint”. If I was Rihanna (a girl can dream), I would steer clear of ballads and keep the Caribbean influence. Pile on the Drake, rap and hip hop.

Here’s the low down of the best and worst..

The best:

“Consideration”: This track is the perfect example of Rihanna’s vocal variety, the saving grace of this record. It has everything. Rihanna sounds fucking cool during the best chorus in the album, as does SZA. The drum beat is original as is the trappy instrumental and minor bass. Hints of Caribbean influence.

“Desperado”: A solid track. Rihanna sounds like a sultry and confident warrior. Marching beat and more flowing vocals.

“Work”: The most Barbadian track since “Man Down” and “Rude Boy”. It’s a great track with loads of attitude. The Patois and synths make me wanna dance. Drake is awesome and manages to diss Meek Mill nicely (“I got niggas tryna end me”). Won’t get this out of my head for a while.

“Needed Me”: “You was just another nigga on the hitlist”. Awesome, flowing, rhythmic rap vocals over strong bass and trappy drums. Rihanna combines pop, R&B and rap quite effortlessly (you can clearly see Drake’s influence).

“Same Ol Mistakes”: Nice bass with attitude that compliments Rihanna’s soothing verse. Cool minor echoey harmonies that repeat hypnotically through the track. Fact attack: this is actually a cover of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes”.

“Woo”: Punchy intro. Sounds a bit like Travis Scott’s “Antidote”. (Wow just looked it up and he is indeed  a producer and a feature on this track). It’s bitter and slow but a forceful piece of hip hop.

And the worst:

“Higher”: Another boring and unoriginal chord sequence with fake vintage violins. However, I do love hearing Rihanna sound deliberately strained.

“Goodnight”: Badly sampled Flo and Machines “Only If For A Night”. Its a bonus track and I think Rihanna wants to be experimental but it doesn’t work.

“Never Ending”: Really lame Jason Mraz campfire-style-finger-picking-backing with equally uninspiring lyrics and tunes. Rihanna at her worst.

Laters on the menjay,

Katie B xxx

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