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Your Complete Guide to Rihanna’s ANTI

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Rihanna is back. After four years without a full-length album, the Barbadian singer released her new album ANTI for free digital download via TIDAL on January 28th, 2016. But if you’re looking for another album of classic Rihanna party hits and club bangers, you won’t find that on ANTI. This introspective and intimate album strays from Rihanna’s usual sound, and gives room for her to really showcase her vocals for the first time on an LP. You may not find a “Please Don’t Stop the Music” or a “B**** Better Have My Money” on this album, but it doesn’t mean that ANTI has nothing to offer. Here’s a couple things to look out for when first listening to Rihanna’s new work:

“Consideration” is the first track off ANTI, and sets the tone of the rest of the LP. Rihanna sings, “I got to do things my own way darlin’,” which may explain the stray from her usual sound on this album. However we do get a taste of Rihanna’s attitude with this track, which is one reason fans love Rihanna so dearly. This track also features singer SZA.

The closest thing to a radio hit on this album is “Work” featuring Drake. It’s undoubtedly a catchy tune. Rihanna and Drake have worked together multiple times on songs such as “What’s My Name?” and “Take Care.” The pairing proves successful again, as “Work” is already a hit. If you’re a fan of Rihanna’s hits (who isn’t?) then this one’s for you. Warning: this song will get stuck in your head all day whether you like it or not.

Looking for a gritty, dark, Rihanna tune? “Desperado” gives you just that. It’s easily one of the best off ANTI. Rihanna faces a crossroads in this song when she sings, “There ain’t nothing here for me anymore but I don’t wanna be alone”. Throw this song on a workout playlist for some great results in the gym. 

Rihanna puts her spin on a Tame Impala song, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.” which is off of the Grammy-Nominated, 2015 album Currents. That’s right, Rihanna covers a song from an Australian psychedelic-pop band. She re-titles her version of the song “Same Ol’ Mistakes.” While she doesn’t bring anything really unique or different in her interpretation of the tune, it’s interesting to hear her try a totally different genre of music.

The last couple of tracks on ANTI are where Rihanna shines the brightest. “Never Ending” is a beautiful acoustic piece where she sings about the strangeness of love. Need a song to belt in the shower? “Love on the Brain” is a great option for all your bathroom-karaoke needs. Rihanna digs deep in this soulful tune, and gives a great vocal performance.

The high point of this album is fittingly titled “Higher.” Rihanna belts out this song with so much conviction, it’s arguably the best vocals we have ever heard from her on any album. It’s unfortunate it’s a quick two-minute song, but all 120 seconds of it are great.

With her new album ANTI, Rihanna starts a new chapter in her artistry. We know that Rihanna can pump out the hits as well as anyone in the business, but this album shows a different side of her that’s new to us. Rihanna opens herself up on this album, and gives us her most personal album to date. While the album does have some forgettable tunes (“Woo,” “Yeah, I Said It”), there’s a lot to appreciate on ANTI. There’s a little something for everybody so if you haven’t given a listen, check it out. Already love the album? Check out dates for the ANTI World Tour and see her live. 

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Feb 10, 2016 at 12:08pm PST

Check out ANTI on Trebel, the world’s first fully licensed free music download app, no wi-fi required!

About Maddie McDonald

Maddie McDonald is a senior at Temple University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. When she's not browsing for new music, she's interning at 94.5 PST in Princeton, NJ, drafting up a new tweet, or managing one of her fantasy sports teams.

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