To label Rihanna a risk-taker is sort of the understatement – particularly by the point her sixth studio album, Speak That Speak, arrived, on November 21, 2011. Only a 12 months on from the success of Loud, Rihanna was able to proceed her pop reign. And, as together with her earlier releases, the duvet artwork set the tone for the album, with Rihanna staring defiantly again on the digital camera, licking her lips just like the cat who received the cream.
Take heed to Speak That Speak now.
Love, intercourse, repeat
Rihanna has all the time been a hit-machine, however Speak That Speak rolls these stand-out moments into considered one of her most cohesive albums: love, intercourse, repeat. Certain, it’s not a novel idea, however she takes you together with her alongside each stage of the connection. Bridging the hole between her previous and her current, the album opens with “You Da One.” a track that seems like dreamy echo, a glimmer of her earlier file that was left enjoying till this one picks up.
Instantly from the opening verse, “Child I really like you, I want you right here/Give me on a regular basis,” you possibly can hear Rihanna experimenting together with her vocal supply and leaning into the trap-pop vocal that was simply beginning to emerge. Within the accompanying video, she’s dressed a Droog from the 70s cult basic A Clockwork Orange, and channeling the identical manic power of the movie.
On Speak That Speak, Rihanna continues to dissolve boundaries between R&B, hip-hop, and home music. She comes straight out of the gates with two EDM cuts, “The place Have You Been” and the lead single “We Discovered Love,” which might launch DJ and producer Calvin Harris into the stratosphere. Like “Umbrella,” “We Discovered Love” takes a deceptively easy hook and turns it right into a chart gold by way of repetition and Rihanna’s ecstatic vocal efficiency.
Whereas most pop stars had been barely timid about embracing the rising wave of entice music, Rihanna absolutely embraced the style’s perspective and swagger, as could be heard on the album’s collaborative title observe, which includes a visitor spot from her former mentor, Jay Z. Concurrently hip-hop was embracing its delicate aspect, Rihanna was suffusing her music with subversive sexuality and man-eating abandon.
A brand new sonic path
Sounding a bit disjointed in comparison with her normally polished sound, “Speak That Speak” indicated a brand new sonic path for Rihanna. The truth is, most critics had been jarred by the album as an entire, feeling that it was too uncooked and, maybe, too quick. In some ways, nevertheless, Speak That Speak was in keeping with the way in which music is consumed within the trendy period. At the same time as a full-length album, it replicated the brevity of hip-hop mixtapes and EPs, in the end foreshadowing the streaming tradition that might quickly dominate the panorama.
Rihanna leans into the specific wordplay on “Cockiness (Love It),” declaring herself “queen of your physique components”. That second is outdone by the interlude-length observe “Birthday Cake,” which furthers the singer’s sexual agenda. By this time, Rihanna had amassed sufficient of a catalog to be self-referential: “Roc Me Out” performs as a solution observe to “Impolite Boy.” whereas “Watch N’ Be taught” works as a dancehall name again to her early albums.
However for all her dancefloor outings, she throws in a couple of curveballs on Speak That Speak, from the earnest, guitar-driven “We All Need Love” to the moody, The xx-sampling “Drunk On Love.” She ends Speak That Speak, with a bombastic send-off within the form of “Farewell,” however it was clear that Rihanna would have far more to say…
Purchase or stream Speak That Speak.