After many false starts, ANTI arrived late last night. The album is different from other Rihanna albums in that there aren’t any standout dance floor anthems such as “Only Girl (In The World),” “Rude Boy,” “Umbrella,” or “We Found Love,” or even songs that reach the anthemic heights of “Diamonds.” Instead, ANTI is populated by left turns, with the only constant being Rihanna in the center. Like previous albums, she takes on many guises throughout Anti, from dancehall queen to trap queen, but always in command. One of the biggest winners from the lot is “Love On The Brain,” a retro-soul inspired song that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Alabama Shakes record. The way she sings, “I’m tired of being played like a violin / What do I got to do to get into your motherfuckin’ heart,” is at the heart of one of her best vocal performances to date. She don’t wanna fight because she knows what she wants. It’s right there in the title.
ANTI is available on Tidal.