Is Rihanna's New Record On Its Way To Being A Bust
  • WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2016

  • Posted by: Don Saas

The only thing in music that's been more M.I.A. than Frank Ocean's sophomore album (and maybe M.I.A. herself) has been Rihanna's latest studio record, ANTI. Despite assurances for most of the summer that it was dropping last year, ANTI disappeared into the ether due to one delay after another. And that was a shame because "Bitch Better Have My Money" became arguably the bad girl pop R&B banger of the year. And although Rihanna has been teasing ANTI news on Twitter as of late, we still haven't been given a specific release date for the album. That said, we got new music from RiRi for the first time in months today, "Work" (her collaboration with Drake). And not to be the one to burst everybody's "New Rihanna music, hurray!" bubble, but Rihanna is going to need to do a lot better than this if she's going to want to get people excited for ANTI again. When you delay a record a billion times like this, you've got to release something positively triumphant to make up for the long wait, and "Work" ain't that. Why isn't "Work" working? It probably doesn't help that the song's hook are slurred syllables that rival a Kurt Cobain track for incomprehensibility. Or the fact that it's up there with Kanye's recent "Jumpman"-esque track for being a diluted commercial spin on trap beats. And then Drake delivers some of his most flaccid and phoned in bars in ages. The track is streaming exclusively on Tidal which you can find here. And now that the track is exclusively on Tida, we're starting to wonder if we'll get the same deal for the whole record. If that's the case, don't be surprised if the rest of the tracks are as much of a bust as "Work." Exclusive streaming on a single platform for an album that would perform better with wider commercial release is going to become the strategy du jour of big commercial artists who know they've got a dud on their hands (but maybe have a dope single or two that makes it worthwhile for said streaming platform). But, seriously. How does Rihanna drop something with as much fire as "BBHMM" last year, and then something as positively soporific as "Work" now? We know you can do better, RiRi.
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