November 18, 2011 10:26 pm

Rihanna: Talk That Talk

The artist’s sixth album in six years is a thoroughly modern creation

Rihanna’s sixth album in six years clocks in at a trim 35 minutes. The productivity rate and lack of filler are reminiscent of an earlier pop era. But in every other respect Talk That Talk is a thoroughly modern creation.

The songs are intensely sexualised, the singer projecting an alpha-female sexuality that turns male dominance back on itself. Statements like “I’mma make you my bitch” will give older listeners an attack of the maiden-aunts, and as for the track “Cockiness” … is that really the language of courtship nowadays? Dear oh dear. But the best songs channel the forthrightness into dynamic and boldly outlined chart-pop, such as the hands-in-air euphoria of “Where Have You Been” and the xx-sampling “Drunk on Love”.

Rihanna

Talk That Talk

(Mercury)

4 stars

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