Dirty Dancing

Rihanna really tries to turn it up in this album.

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published: December 10, 2011 3:22:38 am

Talk that Talk

Rihanna

Universal Records

Rs 395

Rating: ***

Rihanna really tries to turn it up in this album. Some rave-ish synth chords and more electronica give the album quite a sassy touch. Her voice sounds delectable and the hook is right — but the lyrics border on the bawdy in a way that it makes the album little better than teen pop.

Talk That Talk,her sixth studio album,comes only a year after Loud. Some of the tracks fall back on tried-and-tested love themes and will make it to radio stations and clubs. Rihanna then changes groove and moves on to whips and chains and sex. Cockiness has its reggae moments,but there’s also electro-pop instrumentals and lyrics that go lick my persuasion.

The 11-track album opens with a swaggering You da one followed by the generic R&B-meets-pop-meets-euro-dance in Where have you been. She uses her falsetto voice in We found love,a collaborative track with producer Calvin Harris,that seems like a marriage of the slow jam quality made famous by Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga’s pop.

Rihanna also collaborates with rapper Jay Z for the title track,which has him rapping about singer Beyonce,among other things,while Rihanna’s chorus is in the background,till half the track.

Before the launch of the album,the singer had promised her fans that it would be her raunchiest yet,and she makes good on her promise. There are exhortations to eat her cake in the track Birthday cake. The track is short — just about 75 seconds long,and ends abruptly.

From track seven,We all want love,onwards,the tenor of the album changes completely,with soft ballads like Drunk on love,Watch n learn and Farewell. But the attempt seems

half-hearted.

Overall,the musical arrangements are great,and the singer good in parts. It’s definitely not comparable with her signature Umbrella song,but if you like risque,then this might be up your alley. This album is at best a modestly satisfying pop confection.

suanshu.khurana@expressindia.com

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