I don’t know if you know this guys, but Rihanna’s latest album is about sex. That was sarcasm. Of course you know it’s about sex. Sex sex sex. There, I said it. Every single review you read of Talk That Talk will mention that Rihanna mentions sex. So much so that as I was searching for the album on YouTube, I accidently typed in ‘Talk That Sex.’ But does it really matter? Not by virtue of being about sex it doesn’t. Sure, I wouldn’t give this to a seven year old niece but it’s nothing they’re not going to find out about with a few clicks on the internet, or a glance at any billboard. And no-one would bat an eyelid if this were a male contemporary singing the exact same lyrics. By virtue of being, you know, a female, Rihanna doesn’t owe society an image of sanctity or lady-like manners. If the subject matter is convincing, on the other hand, is a different matter. It’s been said that Rihanna’s albums often don’t feel like albums, so much as a highly-produced set of singles tied together by an album title, which can be as vague a word as ‘loud.’ To which I say: Have you heard Rated R? That album is Rihanna’s most consistent, and I would argue brilliant that absolutely has a ‘point.’ So in short, no it doesn’t matter that Rihanna (or any other female popstar) sings about sex. Yes, it is an acceptable subject matter (to a point.) And the music itself? Well yes, it’s rather good!
I’ll post a longer review when I’ve more time and my copy of the album actually arrives (yes I buy CDs, it’s part of my old-school aesthetic.) We’ve all heard We Found Love and I’ve already made an AVPM reference. You may snicker but that is pretty much my daily routine these days. It’s a fairly solid debut single but it’s the video that is really remarkable for me. After a quick flick through some of Talk That Talk, a few tracks stand out. You Da One is punchy, Talk That Talk is good but let down by an obligatory yet saddening Jay-Z cameo and Birthday Cake is quite delicious. The stand-out (and surely, third single?) is Where Have You Been. It’s Dr Luke. It’s Calvin Harris. It’s expectedly satisfying. Take a listen, and enjoy: