Monday 21 November 2011

Rihanna - Talk That Talk

Another year, another Rihanna album.  But has she substituted quality for quantity?


The overwhelming sound is that of teenage boys across the globe ejaculating after one wink from RiRi (yes that says wink).  'Talk That Talk' is a combination of the aggressive, hard sexuality of 'Rated R' and the playful smirk of 'Loud'.  But the sexuality on offer here is enough to make S&M sound like Rebecca Black sung by Alvin & The Chipmunks.  Atop dirty production she purrs with a wry smile.  Suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion?  Really?  I love it when you eat it?  I bet you do.  Just because I can't kiss back, doesn't mean you can't kiss that.  Ooo err.  Let me grab my dick while you sit on top?  Erm... And as for Birthday Cake, it's one minute of rhythmic jiggling that leaves you feeling like you've witnessed a sexual encounter you really shouldn't have, slowly fading out mid-sentence like the slow closing of the bedroom door.  Someone get me a shower.

At least the provocative Cockiness (Love It) has some distinctive production.  Much of this album is just bland dance-RnB a la We Found Love.  Yet the album begins on a high with You Da One, which sees RiRi in flirtatious What's My Name mode.  It's the next single and a sexy little pop song, one where (for once) the dubstep-esque break down actually makes sense.  Watch n' Learn likewise has a playful air of sexuality that makes for a fun listen, as does cheeky bonus track Do Ya Thang.  But then there's Where Have You Been, a standard drance track in Only Girl In The World territory, updated with grinding basslines, and Drunk On Love which samples the xx's Intro but ultimately falls flat.  Meanwhile We All Want Love and Farewell are just typical power ballads, though the latter does allow Rihanna to soar vocally.  At least the title track (finally) injects a much needed hip-hop flavour with guest rap from Jay-Z, taking Rihanna back to her urban roots.

So all in all, 'Talk That Talk' is the same chat we've come to expect from Rihanna, piecing together elements from her previous two albums.  But where's the personality?  Where's the bajan quirkiness?  Surely she's not wholly about raw she?  RiRi has unfortunately run herself into an artistic cul de sac and is in desperate need of a musical overhaul.  I'm done with the sex talk.  You can suck my cockiness Rihanna, but I'm just not feeling your persuasion.


Gizzle Choice Tracks:
* You Da One
* Talk That Talk