Album: Rihanna, Talk That Talk (Mercury)

 

Compared with Rated R and even Loud, this seems a very PG affair, with affirmations of romantic love like "Drunk on Love" and "Where Have You Been".

The most extreme, lyrically and musically, is "Cockiness (Love It)", where the invitation to "suck my cockiness" is suspended within Bangladesh's bizarre arrangement, not so much a song structure as a crazy-paving collage of sonic fragments. It's barmy enough to stand out from the routine dubstep/electro beats cooked up by such as Stargate, Calvin Harris and Dr Luke, particularly in the relaxed, dipping groove of "Do Your Thing" and the skeletal, Oriental-sounding marimba progression of "Watch n' Learn". But elsewhere Rihanna struggles to assert her vocal character against a sea of effects: on Harris's "We Found Love", she sounds like a siren in a wind-tunnel, keening and superfluous.

DOWNLOAD THIS Cockiness (Love It); Do Your Thing; Watch n' Learn

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