REVIEW: Rihanna – ANTI

Words: Amy O’ Callaghan

Few albums of recent years have been as anticipated and begged for as Barbadian singer Rihanna’s new release, ANTI.

Her first release since 2012’s Unapologetic, it was leaked on Tidal, removed and added all in the same day, with Rihanna eventually accompanying the upload with a link for a free download to the album.

The hype and anticipation surrounding ANTI could certainly lead to eventual disappointment, but I’m just going to go on a whim here and say while it does have slightly uneven pacing as it changes from cool bad-ass and angry love songs to straight up crooners, ANTI is a mixed bag of everything from reggae pop to dubstep and proves that some things really are worth the wait.

It shows off a more vulnerable and mature side to Rihanna due to significantly more emotional lyrical content and proves that taking a few years off was the best thing she could have done.

The most notable feature of ANTI is the extremely wide variety of genres and styles utilised and taken inspiration from. It’s had its fair share of contributors, not limited to the likes of Sia, DJ Mustard and Kiesza, and their different styles result in literally something for everyone. From the smooth RnB beats of Needed Me, Work’s catchy hook and tropical house-inspired beat, the weird pseudo-eighties pop inspired guitar riffs in Kiss It Better and Love on the Brain, which is just straight-up fifties doowop. Rihanna isn’t sticking to just one style and it’s really paying off.