Quick confession. I am a huge huge Rihanna fan. I’ve been following her since she first came on the scene and sang If it’s Loving that You Want, to when she went bad and gave me Umbrella from her album, Good Girl Gone Bad, to when she was crooning Te Amo in Rated ‘R’, to her talking about wanting to feel Skin in her Loud album, to her asking Where Have You Been in Talk that Talk, and to her crying out that we should shine bright like a Diamond in Unapologetic. Through the years, I’ve loved her. I’ve grown to love her so much that all I have to hear is a beat and just the a note and I know she’s the one. I’ve laughed to Rihanna, danced to her songs and cried with her. She is one of my favorite artistes and although a lot of my friends don’t get it (my colleagues most certainly do not!) I haven’t cared as much because I. Love. Rihanna.
So when I discovered that Anti was released yesterday, I screamed. When I found out that Rihanna was offering us free download of her album, I just about fainted. So I followed the link, downloaded the album and settled down to play it out loud, using my Mac speakers for everyone in my office to also partake in the goodness that is Rihanna releasing a new album.
Boy, was I in for the shock of my life.
Anti was nothing like anything Rihanna had released. I kept having to pause it to ask myself if truly this was Rihanna and what the fuck it was that I was listening to. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I mean, what the fuck? Where was the bouncing hits. Where were the songs that had me moving? Where were the songs that stayed forever stuck in my head?
Nothing. This album didn’t do it for me.
So I shut down my iTunes and went to a corner to sulk about how Rihanna had failed me. Then the next morning, I got to work, slipped on my earphones and gave the entire album another listen through. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I could hear the music through my earphones better, or maybe it was the realization that the album is titled ANTI, as in against, as in willing to go against any preconceived notion I had as to Rihanna’s new album, or maybe it was as Rihanna said in the very first track, Consideration, “I’ve got to do things my own way darlin/would you ever let me/would you ever respect me, no/ do things my own way darlin/you should just respect me/why you never let me grow/When I look outside my window/I can get no peace of mind.”
Fuck, listening to those words through my headphones, hearing them clearly, I understood it better. This is not an album from ‘Rihanna’. This is an album from Robin ‘Rihanna’ Fenty; the kind of album she wants to make for herself without the crushing weight of having do exactly the same type of music she’s been doing before.
So when I took that in, I listened to the rest of the album, not like I was listening to a ‘Rihanna’ album. But an album from a musician. And yeah, that perspective made things so much better. I love this album. I haven’t gotten to the love love stage of course. I need several more listens to get to that stage, but from what I’m hearing so far, I’m loving it.
It might be Anti the Rihanna we’ve all gotten so familiar with it, but it’s pro the Rihanna she wants to be; a woman who can switch things up when she wants to, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Of course if she goes back to her old style of making music, I shall still be waiting as well, with my heart and wallet open to partake in the goodness :).
Favorite Song: Consideration ft. Sza
Favorite Jam: Work ft Drake
Favorite Weed Listen: James Joint
Do click on the image below to get led to Rihanna’s tweet where she put up the link to her album. Give it a couple of listens. Who knows? You just might like it too.