Rihanna “Talk That Talk”: ALBUM REVIEW

 Rihanna has released her sixth album titled “Talk That Talk.”

I admit, I was one of the first people to say she needs to take some time off. Well I am sure glad she ignored me, because this release is fiyah.

The deluxe version of “Talk That Talk” extends for almost an hour spanning fifteen tracks.  I would say the first half of the album is most definitely the stronger half of “TTT.” There is only one featured artist (Jay-Z) on the album excluding Calvin Harris who doesn’t offer vocals.

I was a huge fan of her previous album “Loud” so I was a little concerned that “Talk That Talk” would not live up to the greatness of it. I feel “Talk That Talk” is not as hardcore party oriented as “Loud” with quite a few slow jams thrown in to balance out the party queen’s club loving tracks, giving us a very well rounded feel.

Producers on the album include Harris, Dr. Luke, Bangladesh, Stargate, The-Dream, Ester Dean, Alex da Kid and No I.D. who bolster her efforts with an exotic blend of R&B, dance hall, hip-hop and dubstep. –USAToday 

Bajan sound on “Talk That Talk”

I believe that Rihanna sounds her greatest when she channels her Bajan roots and unique sound into her music heard on “Let Me,” “Rude Boy,” and she manages to delivers this on “Talk That Talk” on the following tracks:

Straight out the gate she hits us with “You Da One” which oozes her island flava in this summer predicted #1 hit. I am convinced it will hit top our charts in Australia this summer as her latest single from the album.

“Talk That Talk” the track featuring Jay-Z is another song that features her Bajan sound on the line ‘what you say now, give it to me baby…’ I can’t help but wine when I hear this song (regardless of where I am).

One of my very favourite tracks off “Talk That Talk” and is dripping with dancehall sounds is “Cockiness (Love It).”  The backing vocal on loop makes me pop all kinds of my body and wind my middle. Ugh! I love it! Play it in the club and people will be shutting it down.

Another stand out song which channels the sounds of the Caribbean is “Watch N’ Learn” it opens with steel drums and heavy bass. A wicked track to wine to.

Predicted Singles

Tracks I think that will more than likely be released as further singles from this album include:

  •  “Talk That Talk;”
  • “Where Have You Been” (for the club);
  • “Cockiness (Love It).”

Rihanna on Twitter “Talk That Talk”

One of the things I have always admired about Rihanna is the love she has for her Rihanna Navy (fans/stans). She interacts with her fans via tweets about her music almost every day. She works hard as an artist and it is only normal to seek feedback from the public about what they think of your music and Twitter is an instantaneous forum to gauge reactions.

However, Rihanna has recently revealed on Ellen that a contributing reason to why she is on Twitter so much is because she isn’t getting any bootay. Well for the sake of the Navy I hope you don’t get a man anytime soon…I’m just saying 😉

Rihanna has been promoting this album hardcore under the hashtag #TTT, and she counted down the release on ITunes to the minute. Gotta love taking control of your own PR! Other artists, *side eyes Beyonce* you need to take a page out of Rihanna’s book, because sista got the fan formula in check.

Track-by-Track Review

  1. “You Da One”- The second single from “Talk That Talk.” This simple track is perfect for the 2011/12 Australian summer and has that island flava that I just cannot get enough of. I can see myself listening to this song on the beach with a Corona. I predict I will hear this song blasting from cars lining the beach.
  1. “Where Have You Been”- This is quite a complex sounding track with acid synthesised sounds which complements club play, this will be on rotate in the nightclubs I am certain. Coined as a single. It also strangely takes from a famous old Australian bush song titled “I’ve Been Everywhere Man” where the singer lists at length all these Australian towns he’s visited over his lifetime. Coincidence?
  1. “We Found Love” feat. Calvin Harris- Initially didn’t like this track till I saw the music video and it bought the track’s meaning to another level (what music videos are supposed to do). “We Found Love” is a song you want to belt out at the top of your lungs and wave your glow sticks to at the club. Let’s be real, Calvin Harris produced tracks have that affect on people. The ultimate ‘I’m in a messed up relationship and I need to be out of it because it’s unhealthy’ ode.
  1. “Talk That Talk” feat Jay-Z- A stand out track I have pegged for single release, throw Jay-Z in to the mix with heavy bass and hiphop sound and you’ve got instant swag cred.
  1. “Cockiness (Love It)”- I LOVE this track! It’s “Talk That Talk’s” version of “S&M” Another single in the waiting, with rude lyrics like, ‘suck my cockiness/lick my persuasion.’
  1. “Birthday Cake”- The track that the Rihanna Navy have been begging to be a full song. It’s an upbeat dance track that spans one minute as an interlude but is very catchy, ‘he want to lick the icing off/ he want that cake, cake, cake, cake’
  1. “We All Want Love”- It is at this point the album slows the pace down, and Rihanna sings about how everyone is seeking to be loved backed by guitar and piano. A nice melodious track.
  1. “Drunk On Love”- The emo-esque message of the song is similar to that found in “We Found Love.” It is about being open to love and vulnerable at the same time. Her higher vocal range is really showcased in this track.
  1. “Roc Me Out”- This rock song is reminiscent of tracks like “Hard” and “Rockstar 101” on “Rated R.” I’m not a huge fan of rock Rihanna so to me this is a weaker track on the album.
  1. “Watch N’ Learn”- Dancehall, big bass and sex on a plate. “Watch N’ Learn”  instantly makes me dance, a sure fire dancehall club hit. Rih brings us risqué lyrics over the top of dancehall beats. It is comparable in flava and style to “Rude Boy.”
  1. “Farewell”- A ballad that talks about watching a loved one walk away for the better. Nothing spectacular, but then again Rihanna ballads rarely do anything for me, with an exception of “Take A Bow.”
  1. “Red Lipstick”- (DELUXE ONLY) Does the beat in this song sound familiar? That’s because the dubstep sample is the very famous “Saxon” by Chase N Status. This is another risqué track with a sick beat.
  1. “Do Ya Thang”- (DELUXE ONLY) Another fun, upbeat, summer track for “Talk That Talk.” Features a catchy hook, and is a audio throwback to “Music Of The Sun” days.
  1. “Fool In Love”- (DELUXE ONLY) This track showcases guitar riffs and soaring vocals which lament her love of a bad boy her parents disapprove of.
  1. “We Found Love Remix” feat Calvin Harris- (DELUXE ONLY) A remix and extended version of the original nothing special here.

The Verdict

“Talk That Talk” is a very unique sound production, it manages to successfully marry pop, R&B, hiphop, dancehall and house. The union of these sounds make for a globally appealing album, “Talk That Talk” appeasing the European market with the house sounds, the Caribbean/reggae sounds so prevalent in the island nations and Africa, hip hop and R&B enough to please the global urban loving audience and pop enough for mainstream chart appeal. Not many artists can dip in and out of music genre’s like Rihanna and so damn effectively. I daresay come music award time, Rih will be up for several awards in a plethora of categories.

For the Australian market, the release date of the album is very wise (for sales) as it is leading into the summer and Christmas season which is filled with BBQ’s, the beach and parties. The majority of “Talk That Talk” (given the Bajan sound/influence) is a complementary soundtrack to our outdoor laid back lifestyle. I predict it will be number one in Australia and in many other nations across the globe.

I have read criticism that Rihanna hasn’t shown growth as an artist on “Talk That Talk” I beg to differ on this, I think she’s moving away from the gimmicky imaging (rock star look, head turning red hair) I feel her label has imposed, and she’s starting to move away from always being overtly sexual in her lyrics and showing more of herself going back to her natural hair colour and showcasing emotional vulnerability no better exemplified than on “We Found Love.” (Chris Brown relationship anyone?)

Overall, I don’t think “Talk That Talk” differs dramatically from the sound that we all love Rihanna for on previous releases, but then again why would you mess with such a successful formula? She is known for her catchy party tracks that are laced with risque lyrics and she gives us that and then some, with some grown ballads in the later half of the album. Great effort!

Fancye scale:  4 / 5

 

You can follow Rihanna on Twitter HERE.

What do you think of Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk” what are your favourite tracks?

 

Miss Fancye

xo

Talk That Talk

Talk That Talk

 

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