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Rihanna: Talk That Talk
Barbadian pop princess Rihanna has released her sixth studio album and kicked it off with the single ‘We Found Love’ which is already an international hit. With this album Riri continues what has almost become her signature style; upbeat pop songs with raunchy lyrics and high sexual content.
The album kicks off with the track ‘You da One’ which has a Caribbean style and reminds us of Rihanna’s early work. It’s followed by ‘Where Have You Been’ where house music influences are apparent.
Current hit single ‘We Found Love’ follows after that and up until there it all seems pretty innocent and cute as Rihanna gives the impression that she's just a girl looking for love. ‘Talk That talk’ and ‘Cockiness (Love it)’ kick in after that. As to be expected, these are not so innocent. The first is a collaboration with Jay Z where he raps about girls going to the toilet (which is quite an original subject actually) and requesting to have that ‘talk’ talked to her all night. The song ‘Cockiness (Love It)’ is just plain obscene with lyrics like ‘I love it when you eat it’ and ‘Suck my cockiness/Lick my persuasion’.
After this sex overdose, things become a bit cuter again with the ballads ‘We All Want Love’, ‘Farewell’ and ‘Drunc on Love’. Most of the songs are about finding true love, loneliness and break up pain. Another song that has the typical Rihanna sound is ‘Roc me out’. Once again there is lots of sex in the lyrics but not as raw as on previous songs.
The album also has dubstep influences like in ‘Red Lipstick’; a style of music we rarely hear coming from mainstream artists. Rihanna's range of influences come from having worked with a lot of different writers and producers for this album such as Calvin Harris, Stargate, the Dream, Rob Swire and Alex da Kid.
This is absolutely not Rihanna’s best work to date. ‘We Found Love’ is a good single and easily the highlight of Talk That Talk. The album will of course sell and if you turn it up at a house party it’ll probably get people on the dance floor. However, she could have done better. Releasing an album every year is very impressive but unfortunately in this case her commendable work rate hasn’t don’t the quality of the music any good. Sex might sell but it gets old after a while. Just ask Madonna.
Just ask Guns ‘n Roses’ Axl Rose or try and listen to any recent Korn album without cringing. Many bands quit (R.E.M., Sonic Youth), others tone down their sound (Metallica) and some keep regurgitating what they’ve been doing for decades (The Rolling Stones).
Kim Thayil’s guitar traditionally wails around on the dissonant side of the spectrum and singer Chris Cornell still deals out high-pitched screeches like a rock version of Celine Dion – but they have audibly matured. And considering that the grunge kids of two decades ago have aged with them, many will appreciate this more grown-up, adult sound.
After 52 minutes, one question remains: now that Soundgarden seems to have arrived at their definitive sound, will they become one of those established bands that don’t evolve anymore? Like fellow Seattle-ites Pearl Jam, or grandfathers of rock Aerosmith, for example. Or will they continue to develop their sound, like Muse or Radiohead?
Somewhere near the end of the nineties, radio waves became flooded with Latin pop. Ricky Martin made us shake our bon bons while Enrique Iglesias had all of us swaying the night away, and Marc Anthony sang to us. Then along came Jennifer Lopez. The actress entered the world of music and soon became the queen of Latin pop. Of course it helped she was dating P Diddy/Puff Daddy/Sean Combs at the time.
After her debut album On the Six, JLo produced several other successful albums, but she also launched hugely successful clothing and perfume lines, and starred in hit films, which took her focus off her music career.
Now Jennifer Lopez is back on the scene with a new album Love? that fully embraces her Latin cairo360users. Her first single ‘On the Floor’ featuring Rapper Pitbull was debuted during an episode of US TV show American Idol, where she is a judge. ‘On the Floor’ samples the classic 80s Latin hit ‘Lambada’ and features Pitbull’s rapping. The album includes an English version and a Spanish version. If you thought the English version was bad, listen to the Spanish one; it’s close to hilarious.
The album is a mix of pumping club tracks and ballads. Songs like ‘Hypnotico’ and ‘Papi’ will do very well on the dance floor. One of the best ballads is ‘Until it Beats No More’ where JLo’s vocals are actually pretty good and the song is not very auto tuned. Other ballads like ‘One Love’ refer directly to all of Jennifer’s exes and to current husband Marc Anthony.
Overall, Love? is not that bad; just don’t listen to the lyrics too closely. Some are just absurd; especially considering that JLo is in her forties and a mother. Lyrics like ‘I know you like my um-hoo/ I make the boys go wooh’ are a bit weird to say the least, while ‘You got me hooked with your love controller’ is also a bit juvenile and would probably make more sense if sung by Miley Cyrus. There are a few sneers to ex-boyfriend P Diddy/Puff Daddy/Sean Combs on the album. She refers to him as the ‘bad boy from the block’ and ‘mister wrong’ in one song and in another where she laments that musicians are the worst boyfriends ever.
Half of the
album was produced by RedOne, the man behind most of Lady Gaga’s hits. Taio
Cruz is a co-writer on the album and Lil Wayne and Pitbull also collaborated.
If you are looking for an album that provides nice background music with some pumping beats every once and while, then you will probably love Love?.