A Track-by-Track Review of “ANTI”

Rihanna’s eighth studio album, ANTI, was aptly named. After releasing Unapologetic in 2012, Rihanna had only a handful of singles stretched over a span of four years. FourFiveSeconds and American Oxygen fared pretty well on U.S. charts and made sure Rihanna stayed a household name. Prior to the original release date in January, the entire album was leaked online, making ANTI, anticlimactic. This 13-track album shows a slower side of Rihanna, a singer with more love ballads than dance-ready hits. ANTI is anti-everything fans and music critics have come to expect of Rihanna, which just might make it her best album yet.

1.Consideration, ft. SZA

 ANTI opens up with a reggae/dubstep anthem, with lyrics like, “Do things my own way, darling / You should just let me / Why you will never let me grow?” It’s confident, catchy and makes a listener wonder what other unconventional song combinations are coming up.

2.James Joint

The second song off Rihanna’s new album clocks in at around one minute. It’s lazy, hazy and if nothing else, short.

3.Kiss It Better

Its repetitive hook is the only thing that saves this song. It’s just okay, not a favorite.

4.Work, ft. Drake

ANTI’s first single, Work, already has a steamy, double-directed music video featuring Drake. The two friends have collaborated before on What’s My Name? but fans met this one with less enthusiasm. Its six “work”s in a row will get old soon (did it already?), but it’s still fun to sing, “If you had a twin I would choose you,” courtesy of Drake.

5.Desperado

Think of any Lana Del Rey song mixed with the two minutes of voice-over in Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble music video. It’s one of my favorites off the album, but ends up feeling the opposite of Consideration.

6.Woo

This song has such slurred and autotuned lyrics that it’s impossible to sing along to.

7.Needed Me

After listening to Desperado, Needed Me is an instant and empowering pick-me-up. “(Expletive) your white horse and a carriage.” This is the Rihanna we’ve loved since 2005.

8.Yeah, I Said It

There isn’t a lot to say about this song. It’s boring. Yeah, I said it?

9.Same Ol’ Mistakes

Rihanna covering Tame Impala is the weirdest thing ever, but it works. It’s moody, danceable and true to the Australian rock band. An unlikely favorite.

10.Never Ending

This song sounds like it should’ve never been given to Rihanna. This beachy, singer-songwriter tune sounds more Ed Sheeran and way less Don’t Stop The Music.

11.Love On The Brain

This is my favorite song on ANTI. It reminds me of Superpower by Beyoncé for all the best reasons. Rihanna’s voice isn’t perfect; it’s scratchy and rough, but after one listen, you’ll be hooked.

12.Higher

I wish this one was longer, because it has the same potential as Love On The Brain, but couldn’t deliver in only two minutes. Rihanna pokes fun at herself by singing “And I know I could be more creative / And come up with poetic lines.” Wish the whole album ended on this tone, but…

13.Close To You

…Of course it had to end on another emotional ballad. At this point, the album was past ready to end.

Leah Sheltry, Assistant Editor-in-Chief 

Senior Leah Sheltry is the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the 2015-2016 Colonel. She is the secretary of Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA) Club and is on the swim team. She will attend Lasell College to study Fashion Communication & Promotion next fall.

 

Author: thecolonel306

The Colonel is Ledyard High School's award-winning news magazine, serving as the student voice of LHS for almost 50 years.

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