Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I had to work, work, work, work, work.



We can’t say we saw this coming. ANTI, the would-be opus of the most beloved pop star to never give a fuck, lives far below the stadium Rihanna has been known to fill with smoke wafting from her penchant for robust blunts. It’s no colossus where BBHMM-type slappers can hide, it’s a gospel album, or about as close to a gospel album we can get in 2016.

Of the three singles we’ve been privy to, not a single one graces (read: stomps) its way onto the concise 44 minutes finale. Soul jams and dives into experimental rock replace dance-floor anthems, and RiRi’s naked voice is left largely unaltered. (Ed. Note: This has been 100-words already, but fuck it, there’s a lot to say about this album.) And her pipes, oh God her pipes. Somehow, some way, they have become the least of people’s interests when it comes to Barbados’ reigning princess. It’s a truly a woeful mistake all the more pertinent as the latter half of ANTI contains the best displays of pure belting on any of her eight albums. The production ranges from DS2-lite subterranean trap to 60’s revivalism from heavyweights like Timbaland and No I.D. and folds Rihanna’s vocals into a catharsis and pain that’s been eluding her output for too long. Between her cover of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” or neo-Motown ballads, ANTI has Rihanna in top, albeit, unorthodox form. You’ll love it.

Score: 85/10

Standout Tracks: “Higher” is the album’s best, and has already been run through wonderfully over at Pitchfork , so I won’t try your patience. The second best, and most destined for radio, “Kiss It Better” will have to do instead. Over a sinewy guitar riff and skittering hi-hats, Rihanna’s iron clad grip on hook making is at the forefront. It’s neither the album’s most genuine love song, nor it’s most carnal come-on, but I’ll bet money you’ll be hearing it nearly everywhere and loving it soon.


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