Rihanna "Talk That Talk" Album Review – 4 out of 5 stars
Wed, 30 Nov 2011 09:01:35
With the advent of Talk That Talk, it's clear that Rihanna remains the most esteemed darling of the pop music world and beyond. Her latest offering is inspired, anthem-heavy and infused with references to sweeping genres from dubstep to techno.
There's no question about it with an opening track like "You Da One", released earlier this month as the album's second single. The song's fleeting intro, a cassette-tape-like warble of the chorus, sets the creative mood of the album before Rihanna delivers her characteristic staccato over the first of the record's many hypnotizing melodies. "You Da One" boasts affectionate lyrics and savvy drum patterns that quickly pull the listener in, and with a well-structured breakdown full of strategic bits of synth-y bass toward the end, it can quickly become a favorite.
Not to be outdone, Calvin Harris's contribution to Talk That Talk is unabashed in its ambition to harness pop to techno without being obnoxious, and it works. It works, people. "We Found Love" is one of those songs that will have you raising your glass above your head in the club, feeling all that love Rihanna's singing about.
Talk That Talk progresses with the album’s titular track, which features the illustrious Jay-Z, and then with the extremely provocative and completely entertaining "Cockiness (Love It)" which—if it's not clear by this point in the album—illustrates how much Rihanna's not just talking about any talk.
Produced by Bangladesh, the same guy responsible for Lil Wayne's "A Milli", the song's forthright lyrics and overall minimalism make it one of the more interesting tracks, right up there with the syncopated percussion and sultriness of "Watch N' Learn". However, the best allusion in the album goes to "Drunk on Love" which samples The xx's much-revered "Intro" and is also another hypnotizing track that encompasses the album’s overall spirit and theme: love of all kinds of music, love in general. (Indeed, 4 of the 11 tracks have the word "Love" in their title).
Unfailingly, Talk That Talk reinforces Rihanna's talent, giving a wider scope of her abilities as an innovative vocalist. You'll be talking about it for a long time to come…
Have you heard Talk That Talk?
See our review of Rihanna live here!