Rihanna Shows She Can ‘Talk’

Courtesy of Def Jam

Just like Rihanna’s last five albums, “Talk that Talk” exudes the free-spirited sound her listeners have grown so fond of.

The 23-year-old pop star bewitches fans with her striking appearance, distinct voice and ruthless attitude. Previous releases from the Bajan beauty, such as her 2009 album “Rated R” and 2010’s “Loud,” have laid the foundation for her already successful career and made her so incredibly well known worldwide.

With the release of “Talk That Talk,” the singer was already set up to have a high-selling album due to her incredibly successful first single, “We Found Love,” which features Calvin Harris. This record has become iconic in such a short period of time and has placed Rihanna on a high plateau; it is her 20th “Hot 100” single, surpassing Madonna’s record. With the vast success of “We Found Love,” there was an incredible amount of anticipation for the music video.

Since Rihanna’s “Good Girl Gone Bad” was released in 2007, her music videos have been known for being quite risqué. The video for “We Found Love” follows a young couple (Rihanna and Britsh boxer turned model, Dudley O’Shaughnessy) through the ups and downs of a crazy drug-filled romance. The video was directed by Melina Matsoukas, who has worked on some of Rihanna’s previous music videos. Though controversial, the video was received well and became hugely popular in the U.S. and Europe. 2011 was definitely a flourishing and rewarding year for the 23 year old.

Just like any album released, a number-one single can only remain at the top for so long. And while “We Found Love” will continue to be a memorable and popular single, there is always another one waiting to be heard. Rihanna’s second single, “You Da One,” is a bit more laid back, with a sound that slightly reflects her island roots and adds a sexy touch to the typical love song. It is such a feel-good song that truly echoes Rihanna’s individual style.

One of the most anticipated songs on the album, and one of my personal favorite songs, is the titular “Talk That Talk” featuring Jay-Z. It’s such a playful and sexy song that it is bound to be a hit. With her previous 2007 smash success  “Umbrella” (also featuring Jay-Z), there is practically no room for failure when these two get on a record together.

Rihanna is known for having catchy songs that seem to never get old; “Talk That Talk” will definitely be another one for the books.

While this Jay-Z collaboration gives listeners a fun and flirtatious sound, it is the only vocal collaboration on the album. This may come as a disappointment to some, considering Rihanna’s many notable collaborations over the past few years: “Live Your Life” featuring T.I., “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Eminem and “What’s My Name” featuring Drake.

I advise all avid listeners not to be disappointed, though. “Talk That Talk” is an individual album in the sense that it is a manifestation of Rihanna’s personal musical talent and style without the appeal of a popular rapper. It is a demonstration that she can stand on her own and still make worldwide successful hits, which, in my opinion, is the true test of a great artist.

After being on the music scene for six years, Rihanna has left her mark, demonstrating that she can continue to make hit songs and have a wildly successful career despite personal turmoil.

Not only will Rihanna continue to be a fashion icon, shocking fans with unforeseen hairstyles and couture outfits, but she is bound to continue to create knock out albums that reflect her style and individualism just like her latest. “Talk That Talk” will wow listeners endlessly; I am sure her up-and-coming music videos will do just the same.

I was beyond pleased with this album and truly feel that there is a record that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. Everyone can get a taste of the sweet, sassy, dangerous and sexy Rihanna, all on one album: “Talk That Talk.”

Rating: 4 out of 5