It has been the longest period of inactivity (recording-wise) for Rihanna over the course of her short yet brilliant career. Some fans might have been getting worried especially when this album’s release was delayed several times. Don’t fret as ANTI turns out to be her strongest body of work yet. While Rihanna has been one of the more dominant acts on the singles chart over the last five years or so, she has never really made an album. By that I mean a cohesive body of work rather than a handful of hot, hot singles surrounded by filler. Though make no mistake as there are plenty of songs that you will be hearing on the radio ad nauseam. The first single (a duet with rapper Drake) “Work” is already being played once per hour. Tracks like “Desperado” featuring its club friendly beats and “Kiss It Better” which has a funky pop classic written all over it should be soon following.
This time out she shows what she is truly capable of. Some might have dismissed her as another cookie cutter pop princess without a clue and no control over her career. ANTI proves otherwise. This seems like an album full of the real Rihanna. The album contains songs in which she seems to be perpetually smoking weed, asserting her independence and showing she has a deep side to her. Though what I should have stated right from the beginning is that this is also the album with her best vocals. There is a strength there that we have not seen before. Her voice is raspy and raw and matches much of the emotional tone of the songs.