Rihanna's ANTI has no opposition

The pop star’s eighth studio album reinforces her rebellious image


Album: ANTI

Artist: Rihanna

Release Date: Jan. 27

Studio Label: Roc Nation

Grade: B+

Rihanna’s eighth studio album entitled ANTI reminds audiences everywhere why she’s such a bad gal.

The album contains 16 tracks of pure liberation that fans grow to love coming from the young artist. Its title is highly significant considering the pop star’s past filled with sass, rocky romances and appealing vulgarity.

According to Billboard, the singer’s album received 1.47 million downloads worldwide in approximately 15 hours.

ANTI is a compilation of sultry, rock-fused ballets showing why Rihanna remains a one-of-a-kind pop star. The track “Work,” featuring Drake, is highly popular on radio stations and is still holding a Top 10 spot on the Billboard charts since its release nearly two weeks ago. Their collaboration provides fans with fun-loving, chill reggae vibes that are self-explanatory and enticing.

In her trippy, rock-and-roll tune “Woo,” Rihanna adds a new emphasis on how painful breakups can really be. The musical blends of Rihanna’s voice with the radicalism of the electric guitar provide the edginess that fans worldwide love. The song includes Travis Scott on its chorus chanting “Woo” repeatedly, which recreates the feelings a breakup would create through its melody – exuding feelings of hate, anger and sadness mixed as one.

The album assures fans that Rihanna hasn’t lost her edge.

Her vocals in the song “Consideration,” featuring SZA, shows a more vulnerable Rihanna explaining to the audiences of why she’s doing things her way and not taking in the account of anyone else.

The pain infused in her voice throughout the piece isn’t just heartfelt – it’s empowering. It’s situated on a universal feeling listeners can relate to – of longing the freedom to be independent and set your own terms on your life.

The seventh track on ANTI, entitled “Need Me,” is another record where Rihanna gives viewers insight on a relationship that ended sourly, due to her ex’s neglect for her and his eagerness to move on.

This track and others such as “Desperado” represent Rihanna’s opposition to love.

ANTI serves viewers Rihanna’s rebellious attitude towards the boundaries and conventional standards associated with love.

Her music shows her refusal to conform to mainstream notions of how she should live her life. It shows she’d rather make her own mistakes and grow from her experiences.

Her defiance and unruly energy is what carries this album. She provides listeners with emotions and real hurt derived from past experiences and relationships that have failed, but have continued to leave its scars.

The harmonies within ANTI cater to the egocentric and masked rebel within all of us. The album showcases liberation at its finest, conveying the ideal that the best approach to life is to create your own path, by following your heart.

Darlene Brumfield is an arts staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com