ANTI is actually, finally here. Rihanna’s eighth studio album and first in four years has dropped following one of the most drawn-out and at times embarrassing hype cycles this decade (at least we have a release date for So Help Me God, I mean, Swish, no, WAVES. Thanks Kanye) Thankfully, the album is actually good—great, even—so this all wasn’t for nothing.
After dropping one of the best singles of 2015 in “BBHMM” and two rather forgettable ones with “FourFiveSeconds” and “American Oxygen,” Ri kept us waiting for the last half of the year, losing any palpable sense of anticipation behind the album’s inevitable release.
It should come as no surprise, then, that none of these songs appears on ANTI, a grimy collection of 13 songs that range from chillwave to lethargic R&B to stoner rock with no discernible bangers. What’s a Rihanna album without its own “Pon de Replay,” “Umbrella” or “We Found Love”? Is it really a Rihanna album at all?