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ANTI: Rihanna’s Return to Music

Annie Hollon, Staff Writer

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The much-anticipated 8th studio album from Rihanna arrived January 28, 2016, shocking many with its sudden arrival. Anti was released through streaming service TIDAL, offering fans the ability to stream and download before it hit iTunes. The album was a welcome surprise, as Rihanna had not released an album since Unapologetic in 2012.

The lead single off of the album, “Work,”  features Drake and a whole lot of repetition. The song itself is incredibly catchy, with upbeat rhythms and a unique sound that will make it a successful introduction to the album. The style is significantly different than her older music, and the change transcends across the rest of the album. The combination of the fun sound and rhythmic nature makes it a Top 40 dynamo, sure to be blaring through car speakers everywhere for the next eight months.

Starting with “Consideration”, the first track off of the album, it’s made clear that this album is a game changer. The heavier tones and powerful lyrics tell a message of relying on oneself versus needing someone else. Alternative R&B singer SZA and Rihanna’s voices play back and forth to make an interesting track.

In contrast, several slower, string filled pieces hold spots on the album. Songs such as “Love On the Brain” and “Higher” show a softer, more mellow side to Rihanna’s sound with orchestral strings and acoustic guitar making the sound more vintage. The old school sounding tones pair well with some of the heavier tracks on the album, showing success in variety and style.

The closing power ballad, “Close to You” wraps the album out calmly, with soft piano being the only other sound beside the vocals. The dynamic difference between the beginning and the end of the record effectively wraps up Anti and the variety in the songs’ sounds.

As a whole, the album is a strong collection that shows how Rihanna has grown as an artist over the last four years. With an array of styles in her songs, there’s a track that everyone can enjoy.

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ANTI: Rihanna’s Return to Music