Rihanna – Talk That Talk

November 13, 2011 at 10:04 PM | Posted in Rihanna | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Rihanna – Talk That Talk

1. You Da One
2. Where Have You Been
3. We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)
4. Talk That Talk (feat. Jay-Z)
5. Cockiness (Love It)
6. Birthday Cake
7. We All Want Love
8. Drunk On Love
9. Roc Me Out
10. Watch n’ Learn
11. Farewell

♦ ♦ ♦

Talk That Talk is the sixth album by Barbadian singer Rihanna, scheduled to be released on November 18, 2011 by Def Jam Records. The lead single from the album, “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris, premiered on Capital FM radio on September 22, 2011, and was released on iTunes U.S. the same day.

You Da One is a very relaxed opening tune and a hybrid of island vibes and R&B. Maybe Rihanna drew from the succes of Man Down according to her vocal techniques (and the title of the track). During the bridge the song also incorporates some dubstep elements. Even though it’s not the best opening track she had (it’s not really uptempo), I actually like this song pretty much.

Then Where Have You Been is the first real uptempo track, and it’s kind of in the style of her previous album Loud. Kinda makes me think of Only Girl (In The World). When Rihanna sings ‘Somewhere in the crowd…‘ , she belts out her lyrics, showing she has a good voice that keeps developing. I don’t think this song really has a chorus. At one point she sings the title words, but then a dance beat with heavy synths drop in (and again it gives a bit of a dubstep effect). Very fierce song!

The first single for the album was We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris), and it took me a while to really appreciate it. Again it’s an uptempo electropop/dance track (very Loud-ish) with heavy synths and beats. The song has a lot  instrumental parts, which makes it a kind of a club ready track in my opinion. The lyrics are repetitive and they may not be the most original I’ve heard, but I have to compliment Rihanna on her vocals here and the track is very catchy indeed. This track blows you away, very strong and solid.

Talk That Talk (feat. Jay-Z) is a R&B/Hiphop track with some pretty cool raps by Jay-Z and blazing synths in the background. I think the chorus is again the most catchy part in the entire song, especially when Rihanna sings ‘One and-a two and-a three and four, baby lemme know if you want some more‘. The beat is to die for, I have developed a great love for hiphop over the past few months and this track gives me goosebumps!

Hiphop/dancehall hybrid Cockiness (Love It) is a crazy song, but I have to admit the lyrics are my guilty pleasure. ‘Suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion‘, how bad do you want it? This song is much fun and I like it pretty much, I’m just a bit on the fence with the guy singing the background vocals. Rihanna is the real vocal star here, no matter what she sings or how she sings it. Not the best song, but it’s great fun.

Birthday Cake should’ve been a full-length track because it serves as an interlude but it definitely doesn’t sound like one! It features a nice distorted electro tune with a cool beat, it’s over way too soon, it just stops right in the middle of Rihanna’s sentence.

We All Want Love (‘We all, we all, we all…’) incorporates some acoustic elements with a guitar playing in the background. But being Rihanna, she doesn’t settle for a simple acoustic track, she need a shaking drum beat with it, and it suits the acoustic feel very well. The song tends to drag after a minute or two because it doesn’t have a big climax, but Rihanna’s vocals are quite alright.

Produced by Stargate and Ester Dean, Drunk On Love features trance elements with a lot of synths in the arrangement. Rihanna’s vocals in the chorus are superb, especially when she belts out the title words. She really has developed her vocals since ‘ Music of the Sun’ and ‘A Girl Like Me’. Not the highlight of the album, but a nice song.

Roc Me Out is a very catchy and dominant song with agressive synths and a nice R&B beat backing it up. It’s almost like this song is a crazy but nice mixture of rock, R&B and dance, I don’t know how she does it but Rihanna delivers a pretty awesome song. It’s one of the best on the album with strong melodies and a lot of attitude and fire.

Watch n’ Learn is a very playful hiphop song with grinding synths in the background, and just like Cockiness (Love It) it’s one of the quircky songs on the album (even though the latter was quirckier than this one). It features a lot of repetitive lyrics, but I figure that’s the point of the song to make it work (‘It’s ya turn now, it’s ya turn now, it’s ya turn now, watch n’ learn now, watch n’ learn now‘). Rihanna sings in a much deeper voice than in the other tracks, and they tend to be more seductive too.

This album has its very own ‘ California King Bed’, and it’s called Farewell. It features the same kind of arrangement and bombastic moments in the song where it builds up into an exploding chorus, featuring strings, a piano and dominant drum rolls. I can’t choose which of the two compareable songs is the best, but I can say this one is very heartfelt too. One of the absolute best tracks on the album and a worthy closing track.

Damn, this album was short (37 minutes!), and not all tracks were the best, but I am most satisfied about this album. I’ve been waiting for quite a long time for this moment, and I was so happy when I got hold of the album tracks a week before the actual release! If that means I’m one of the first couple of thousand people to give an opinion on this album, I can gladly say Rihanna gave it her best shot and she succeeded. The album is tough, funny, sexy, it has attitude, it’s great. It’s just that… Loud is a bit better.

Favorite tracks: You Da One | Where Have You Been | We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) | Talk That Talk (feat. Jay-Z) | Roc Me Out | Farewell

OVERALL RATING

4 stars

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