The trick to listening to a Rihanna album is expecting two things when you push play: listenable, but forgettable tracks you might never come back to, and crazy catchy pop gems you’ll listen to every day for at least a month. In other words, high expectations mixed with a little resignation.
Talk That Talk is Rihanna at her best. The beat on “We Found Love” sounds straight out of the nineties, with just enough edge to bring it to 2011. The title track, featuring Jay-Z, is classic Rihanna that will remind you of “Rude Boy,” and “You Da One” opens the album on an unusually sunny note. She’s still owning the “Good Girl Gone Bad” persona — only by this point, she’s just bad. “Cockiness (Love It)” picks right up where the “S&M” dirty talk left off. And just for balance, she threw in a couple ballads.
If you haven’t seen the video for “We Found Love,” watch it now. Seriously. Do it now.