Rihanna – Talk That Talk

Initially planning to ‘Rih-release’ loud with a handful of new tracks, Rihanna soon scraped the idea in favor of a whole new album. Announcing the news via twitter, Rihanna tweeted:

I tht abt a RihRelease, but LOUD is its own body of work! Plus u guys work so F?CKIN hard that u deserve to act brand new!!!

Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, though brief, Talk That Talk is an album of two tales. One about love and the other about lust. In struggling to identify exactly what she wants to address, Rihanna has still managed to put together an album that appeals to everyone in the pop world by composing songs that reflect mankind’s two strongest emotions. Every song (with the exception of maybe two) has the potential to be a hit. For this album she’s enlisted the skills from the likes of Grammy Award winning producers The-Dream, Hit Boy, Bangladesh & Stargate behind the boards, and not to mention Jay-Z for a verse on the album’s title track.

While this album is chalked full of chart toppers, there are a few standout tracks. The electro influenced first single, “We All Found Love”, assisted by Calvin harris has already proven to be infectious as it has climbed up the charts since its release. While her second single, “You Da One”, that combines a little Carribean influence with a dub step break produced by Dr. Luke has just as much potential. Be on the look out for tracks like “Talk That Talk” (featuring Jay-Z) and “Roc Me Out”, both produced by Stargate to soon takeover the radio. The title track combines the dynamic duo of Jay-Z and Rihanna with a sample of the legendary Notorious B.I.G. and virtually recreates a second version of the Rihanna’s 2007 hit “Umbrella”. While “Roc Me Out” resembles Wiz Khalifa’s multi-platinum single “Black & Yellow”, with heavy synths and fast paced tempo. The most notable short coming of the album, is the rather brief track, “Birthday Cake”. Surely a guaranteed club banger filled with fitting seductive lyrics—much like “Cockiness (Love It)” —the song fades out prematurely after just 1 minute and 18 seconds as it acts as an interlude for the album leaving fans begging for the rest of the song.

Rihanna’s recipe for Talk That Talk is where the genius of this album lies. It combines two themes with two different styles. She takes catchy radio beats and club bangers, then couples them with fitting lyrics of love and promiscuity respectively. Targeting two of music’s biggest outlets, night clubs and radio stations, Rihanna has tailored this album to be successful no matter how polarizing the markets maybe. And the tracklisting mirrors the pattern of the type of relationships we all experience in our lifetime. We begin by discovering first love (“You Da One” – “We Found Love”), then transition into a phase lust (“Talk That Talk” – “Birthday Cake”), and finally settle down to search for and find our true love (“We All Want Love” – “Farewell”).

Alternating between romance and extreme provocativeness, one end of the spectrum to the other, Talk That Talk exudes energy and passion as Rihanna uses her Caribbean influence on multiple tracks combined with uptempo infectious beats. The album overflows with love and promiscuity while ultimately accomplishing what Rihanna is know best for, smash hits. Without a doubt this album will be a success commercially and if you enjoy catchy melodies and beats keep your head bobbing in rhythm then this is your album. If you’re looking for clever wordplay and thought provoking lyrics, you may want to look elsewhere.

Bottom line, Rihanna continues releasing hit after hit and there is no misstep with this album. And if she had titled it differently she surely could have given a new meaning to the acronym of LOL: Love Or Lust.