Rihanna – Talk That Talk
Record Label: Def Jam
Release Date: November 21, 2011
Rihanna, everyone’s favorite Barbadian R&B artist, returns with her sixth studio album, titled Talk That Talk. This time around, she completely bans her dark side or any sign of dark elements from entering the album, and the result is a full-blown, party-infused time. Props are given to Rihanna for creating another unique album that stands out from her past five studio albums. Rihanna talks that talk like a sailor, and that talk is as fierce as a lion’s roar.
“You Da One,” the opener, is a thrilling track about thinking about the one who she “dreams about all day and thinks about always.” The song is explosive and serves as the perfect opener to this album. “We Found Love,” the lead single, is also volatile because of Calvin Harris’ production, which is top-notch and does not disappoint. Rihanna ups her sex game with “Birthday Cake,” easily the most exciting track to hear. She wastes no time getting filthy as she chants “I know you want it in the worst way, don’t try to hide it, I know you want to bite this, It’s so enticing, I’ma make you my bi***.” If the song were as long as the others, it would have increased its awesomeness even futher. “Roc Me Out” is highly reminiscent of “Rude Boy” in structure and beat, which is great because “Rude Boy” is my favorite track on Rated R. “Where Have You Been” is like a female version of a LMFAO song, with the chorus having a trance breakdown, which sounds really neat.
“Farewell,” a track also reminiscent of a Rihanna song (“California King Bed”) closes the album (unless you bought the deluxe edition) as she sings “Farewell, somebody is gonna miss you. Farewell, somebody is gonna wish that you were here. That somebody is me.” She wants her love to leave and hit the road, but then she wants him back—it is a confusing but emotional love story. “Farewell” works well as an album ender. “Talk That Talk,” the title track which features Jay-Z (who is the only guest on the whole album aside from Harris), is completely single-material and is an instant grabber at first listen. Rihanna proves that she is still in control. She recites “Boy talk that talk to me all night, love it when you talk that talk to me yeah.”
If you bought the deluxe edition or were interested in purchasing it, you made or will make a good decision. “Do Ya Thang” and “Fool in Love” are gripping and appealing, forcing you to smash the repeat button because of how awesome the tracks are. “Do Ya Thang,” like “Talk That Talk,” has the appeal of becoming a single and reaching the top spot of the Hot 100. The chorus and hook are both instantly catchy, as she sings “See I know you like being round chicks. Turn looking at hips, and a little outfit. What can I say? That's what I love about you babe. Yeah don't mess, cause I know you gon' lie. You way too sexy, never be shy. What can I say? That's what I love about you babe.” “Fool in Love” has Rihanna singing her heart out (which has the best singing on the whole album), telling herself that she is a “fool in love” and believes that "her man is her biggest fan.” This track has a similar ending to “Skin” from Loud, and the song also serves as an album ender if you bought the deluxe version. “Red Lipstick” lacks the emotional depth that the deluxe tracks have, but the song is more unique and incorporates dubstep pretty brilliantly, thus making it worth listening to.
The production is tighter, and the creativity has increased from Loud, but the vocals take a step back. They are not up to par with her previous release, and Rihanna does not sing to her heart's content. Although she does so on "Fool In Love," it is the only track that proves her vocals are still as good as they were on Loud. However, it is thrilling to know what Rihanna could possibly come up with for her next album; if I could take a guess, it would be a combination of all six of her studio albums. Few artists can do what Rihanna can—constantly change the overall sound while staying consistent and authentic. Although this album is not as instantly accessible or catchy as Loud was, Talk That Talk manages to have its own identity, thus being able to avoid falling into the clichés of mainstream pop music.
"You Da One" is pretty boring and "Where Have You Been" sounds like it belongs in a cheesy spy movie. "We Found Love," "Talk That Talk," "Cockiness," "Birthday Cake," and "Do Ya Thang" all range between pretty good and slightly above average, but the other 10 tracks on the deluxe edition are super forgettable. Overall it's a pretty weak album imo.