Rihanna - Talk That Talk
Talk That Talk
Description & Features+
Despite sounding rushed to capitalize on fourth quarter sales, 2010's Loud proved that Rihanna's reign indeed would not let up. The album's first three singles topped the Hot 100. A fourth one merely went Top Ten. Just as Loud was losing its grip, during the fourth quarter of 2011, Rihanna fired again with another number one single, 'We Found Love' -- its success more likely due to the singer's ecstatic vocal than Calvin Harris' shrill, plinky production. While Talk That Talk is built like another singles-chart-devouring machine, it's both more rounded and less random than Loud. 'We Found Love' and 'Where Have You Been' -- the latter with a quote from Geoff Mack's 'I've Been Everywhere' and echoes of the chorus from Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' -- function as place-holding dance tracks, and there are a couple empty anthems and ballads in the drippy 'We All Want Love' and the bombastic 'Farewell.' It's the darker and dirty-minded material that tends to be most effective -- where Rihanna is more alive and believable, where her collaborators provide the most adventurous productions. In the Bangladesh-produced 'Cockiness (Love It),' one of the most hypnotic and wicked beats of the last decade, Rihanna absolutely relishes the chance to sing-taunt 'Suck my cockiness, swallow my persuasion.' Two of Stargate and Esther Dean's three contributions -- the desperate, xx-sampling 'Drunk on Love' ('Nothing can sober me up') and the prowling 'Roc Me Out' -- pack more sleek menace than Rated R's 'G4L' and Loud's 'S&M.' The album's best track, however, is the wholly sweet and flirtatious 'Watch n' Learn,' featuring a dizzying Hit-Boy beat -- rat-a-tat snares, swirling/swelling synthesizers, irresistible plucked melodies -- that is even more unique in the context of 2011 pop radio than his work on Kanye West and Jay-Z's 'Ni**as in Paris.' Behind Good Girl Gone Bad and Rated R, this is Rihanna's third best album to date. Minus the fluff, it's close to the latter's equal. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
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