Review: Rihanna's Talk That Talk


One of the upsides of the singles-oriented world we live in is that big pop stars need to continually produce hit songs, lest they be forgotten by their fickle no-attention-span fans. And nobody works it as well as Rihanna, who releases an album every year, without a dud among them. This year’s model, Talk That Talk (Def Jam ***) , is notable because while it remains highly-titillating - the Barbadian beauty is keen “to be your sex slave,” apparently - it’s largely free of the sturm und drang that marked such S & M-tinged self-consciously envelope-pushing efforts as 2009’s Rated R. Instead, Talk That Talk sashays with a lighter touch, as with the throbbing club music blowout “We Found Love,” which features a guest spot by Calvin Harris, or the grabby Notorious B.I.G.-sampling “Talk That Talk,” which employs a guest rap by Jay-Z. Rihanna is never demure and often crass - see “Cockiness (Love It)” - but she’s one Madonna acolyte who puts lessons learns from the Material Girl in to practice without being overly slavish. And while she’s not given to highly ambitious artistic or deeply personal statements, she’s a hook-singing hip-hop hitmaker par excellence with a distinctive siren’s call that she rarely bludgeons the listener with.  The "We Found Love" clip is below.

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