Rihanna - Talk That Talk

It almost seems silly to download a Rihanna leak early, since you already know that about half these songs will absolutely dominate the radio at some point over the next eight months or so. She is, however, one of the most dependable big-pop delivery systems we have working for us at the moment, and the most sought-after producers and songwriters in the world routinely save their best stuff for her. We’ve already posted her singles “We Found Love” and “You Da One,” her Jay-Z collab “Talk That Talk,” and her xx-sampling “Drunk On Love.” And now the entire new LP is floating out there in the ether. So what do you guys think of this year’s model? Will her run continue uninterrupted? Let’s talk about it below.

Talk That Talk is out 11/21 in Def Jam.

Comments (54)
  1. I will do my very best not to hear this song.

  2. woozefa  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2011 -5

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  3. I’m not much of a mainstream pop connoisseur (Drake and Robyn seem to be the only two forces that do anything for me) due to the fact that for every good single on an album such as this, you have to wade through a lot of mediocre ones as well. I gave Loud a listen last year, and aside from “What’s My Name?” and “Only Girl In the World,” I didn’t understand how anyone could say the entire album was very good. The same goes for Talk That Talk, except that I’d say the strongest songs aren’t as over-the-top good as her biggest previous hit singles.

    “We Found Love” is an okay homage to ’90s dance music that has grown on me, but it’s kind of an “Only Girl In the World, Part 2,” no? “Talk That Talk”‘s beat is the most immediately ear-pleasing, but after Jay-Z gets out of the way and Rihanna goes through her first verse and chorus, I don’t really want to hear her do that same thing four more times. I was also very excited to see that Jamie xx would be producing a song here, but after hearing “Drunk On Love,” I’m starting to question his ability to produce a good pop song because it seems that between this and Drake’s “Take Care,” he’s simply (and somewhat lazily) re-purposing songs he’s already written or remixed for pop musicians without really adding a new twist to them.

    I said this in a related Rihanna post, but her music is tailored for an iTunes generation in that her singles drive her success. When you take in an album of her’s as a whole, you realize half of the songs are singles and the rest of it is filler to justify a new album release. Eventually when major labels stop releasing albums physically, I imagine artists like Rihanna will just release digital singles and all that filler will no longer be. She, like Beyoncé, both could make excellent greatest hits comps at this point in their careers, I give them that.

    • i agree, if anything these “filler songs” just serve to accentuate the hits that proceed or follow them. Ill respect pop artists for what they are, but most of their actual albums hold no gravitas as a whole. This makes it really hard to respect some of these albums.

      These artists will only be as ambitious as their hits, expect no LP knockouts here.

    • the song when she sings “i want that cake cake cake x 10000″ was hilariously catchy

  4. Hating everything mainstream for the sake of hating mainstream is pathetic. Say what you want but this is Rihanna’s best album,

    • I hated mainstream before hating mainstream was cool.

    • You do realize there is a middle ground between hating everything mainstream and just blindly following the flock. It is possible to not like Rihanna while still giving some credence to mainstream pop. I don’t have a particularly strong opinion about this album, mostly because at best it’s disposable pop that isn’t about anything.

      Interesting to see all these 20 year old reissues coming out this year. Nirvana and Achtung and everything. Say what you want but Rihanna’s best album is pimple on the ass of “mainstream hits” 20 years ago.

    • Flipside. Giving shitty music the benefit of the doubt for the sake of not categorically hating on mainstream is the most pathetic. Just because I don’t happen to like 90% of music on the radio doesn’t mean I hate mainstream music for the sake of hating mainstream music, it might actually just mean that I find most music on the radio to be crap. I base my music taste off of what sounds good, regardless of whether its mainstream, indie, or whatever, and I can safely say that a lot of the mainstream music out there is really, really bad. There’s also a good amount of bad indie music, but that stuff isnt really forced on you everywhere you go like shitty music on the radio is (I’m looking at YOU Kesha).

  5. I think it’s time to give up on her as an artist. I held out as long as I could but it’s now apparent we will never witness the true Rihanna in any of her music. But that doesn’t mean she puts out a bad product. The majority of the tracks off Talk That Talk are ridiculously good pop songs. I just wish she’d stick to the dance-y numbers and just abandon ballads which are hard to swallow when you know the singer is empty inside. She needs to take a page out of Britney’s playbook and just stick to your strengths and put an album of all dance cuts like Femme Fatale, which is severely underrated. And at this point Rihanna is basically just a Bajan Britney: a sex doll with great producers and voice that, while sparse, is just perfect to write a hook around.

  6. Shame on you sterogum. This is shit.

  7. Mad hipsters are mad.

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  9. The songs on this cd have no substance whatsoever but they are catchy as ever. They will dominate radio regardless of how well this cd is received. This is the music world we live in today people. Hit singles > Substance. These labels could care less what their artist is saying…

  10. is sampling xx the ’11 equivalent of sampling imogen heap?

  11. Stereogum has been drinking the kool-aid too huh? Indie is the new mainstream, and a bunch of lame poptarts are trying to cash in on it and you guys are eating right out of their palms. Rihanna has never been “quality” music.. maybe catchy every now and then, but not quality. How sad…. SMH.

  12. I am not afraid to admit that after hearing “We Found Love” and seeing the accompanying video, i was unapologetically excited for this album. Reuniting with Jay??!! Bangladesh??!! Jamie XX??!! This will be amazing! After one listen to it though, i must say it is a huge letdown. Sounds like someone took a bunch of b-sides, added a “innovative” dubstep breakdown, and called it a day. Good production does not make up for a poor song. Also, im sick of hearing about how Rihanna is so good because she sounds “so bored and detached” in her music. Personally i miss the days where our pop stars sung their hearts out and vied for our affection instead of just acting like they dont give a shit.

  13. Pretty entertaining but not as consistent as Loud, which ironically was pretty understated and floaty (for a Rihanna album at least) while this is louder (for lack of a better word) with shouty abrasive hooks.

  14. *rants*

  15. Just plain bad.

  16. People on this website listen to Rihanna?

  17. I still think Rihanna should’ve done the chorus on Big Boi’s “Follow Us”

  18. When Stereogum starts writing about Katy Perry then you can worry

  19. This is AIDS.

  20. The song “Cockiness” (Love It)” made me feel violated. “I’m gonna be the queen of your body parts” might be one of the worst lines ever. And this is, without a doubt, the worst Rihanna album ever. Coming from a devout fan that’s pretty sad.

  21. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  22. Sure this album should be pretty good, given how much money it has behind it. But why aren’t we spending our time talking about real artists who actually make music instead of some pretty face who just buys the most popular dance tracks?

    I used to thnk this website had taste. And maybe a sense of culture. I see I was wrong. Thank you, but no thank you Stereogum. I won’t be coming back.

  23. this album is embarrassingly bad and the person who commented about “Cockiness” upthread was OTM. then again post-”Good Girl” Rihanna in general hasn’t done much for me.

  24. Rihanna has definitely had some quality songs in the past, but when I go on a comment thread and see that Britney Spears’ “Femme Fatale” is being called “severely underrated”, it’s difficult to deny that the clientele of this website has changed in some way, and certainly not for the better when those are the sort of things that are being said. Responses like, “I was hating the mainstream before hating the mainstream was cool” are frustrating too. That’s an overplayed insult, and unfairly marginalizes the complaints of the readers of this site by labeling them as some disgruntled hipster. Aren’t people allowed to complain when shitty music is being hailed on a site that previously applauded great music? People’s music tastes are allowed to change, and that extends to the writers of Stereogum, but when the website itself has established a niche in the alternative music culture, why can’t Stereogum get writers or contributors who are still interested in that? There are so many other sites you could go to read about Rihanna or Britney or whatever the fuck else is out in the pop music scene. Why can’t this continue to be devoted to more underground artists, just because it’s difficult to find quality coverage on them anywhere else? Is it wrong for people to continue to desire that, or are they just going to be ridiculed and insulted the more they speak out? Obviously there are good ways and bad ways to phrase things on both sides of the argument, but having stupid, back-and-forth arguments on who’s a hipster and who’s not takes away from the fact that Stereogum should stick to covering underground music just because a) it does a lot better than other, popular websites and b) there’s a myriad of music sites that have Comment Parties on Rihanna, and when I’m struck by a song from her, or anyone else on the pop music scene (which has been known to happen) I’ll be sure to go to those websites to read up on them.

  25. That was an eloquent way to say what everyone else has been saying, and while I understand the downvotes, I have to admit that part of me agrees. A few years ago, I’d come to Stereogum, see a bunch of stuff I’d never heard of, and try out what seemed interesting. Now, there’s still a lot of new stuff, I’ll admit that, but there’s also a lot of music on here (Rihanna being one example), that I can hear a million other places. I don’t dislike Rihanna (or pop music in general), she’s had some catchy stuff, but for me, and probably a lot of readers of stereogum, pop music is just background noise. You could say I’m indifferent to pop music. I dont care enough about her to want to read an interview with her, or watch her new video, or see of she’s gonna quit her day job. Call me a hipster, but I’m with my iPod, I’m gonna put on Tapes n Tapes, or Neutral Milk Hotel, and those bands, and bands like them who don’t get on the cover of People magazine every week, are the ones I’m more interested in reading about, the ones I’m passionate about.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna abandon Stereogum, and i actually find the discussion of the mainstream acts fascinating, but in my heart, i come here for indie music and news, and i think that will always be my main reason for visiting.

  26. Rhianna blows goats.

    (I have proof)

  27. If I want to hear some fabulous pop music, I will throw on a Prince record (and every bleeding song on the album will be great). When we have such a vast library of brilliant pop music (spanning decades) to enjoy, why would we waste our time and debase our souls listening to garbage like Rhianna? You dropped the ball, Stereogum.

    (I’m partly kidding. This music does not appeal to me in the least bit, but if people dig it, then I say g’on! Enjoy it. Just why, how can you like this? How.)

    • I like the song cause the structure is pretty novel, the instrumental build up to the chorus is catchy as hell, and the song is outright fun. Rihanna’s vocals are as carefree as ever, ignoring the hopeless in favor of the love. The whole song is built around that instrumental build up and the title of the song, which in my opinion is a good one. Poetry this is not, but the line is delivered with drama and emotion, so the lyric is believable.

      It is like mass produced canned joy and it makes me happy

  28. Assuming anyone is still reading this thread…

    For all these people complaining about stereogum posting more pop artist articles:
    Why is it wrong for them to do this? Its not like the website has abandoned covering indie groups, its just adding mainstream artists into the mix. The websites trying to put music under an objective magnifying glass; all music, and pop music, whether you like it or not, is still relevant to our culture. So you can be part of the discussion; intelligently analyze the music for what it is, or you can not read the argument because it doesn’t interest you.

    In the meantime you can shut the fuck up and appreciate the opportunity for us to talk about rihanna amongst cultured others(without all the 14 year old girls) because that’s something you sure as shit can’t do on rollingstone threads. The idea that someone would criticize a site for adding more elements to it, shitty or not, is just ignorant.

    • Hear hear!

      I think its fair to bash the song, but it is pretty evident that a lot of the site’s readers enjoy a Rihanna tune from time to time (or in this reader’s case, all the time. I love this song).

      Disclaimer: I really enjoyed most of the new Lady Gaga album. OH SHOOT MY OPINION IS INVALID.

  29. my album review has been up. www. NEXTINSHOW.com thanks in advance.

  30. Lana Del Rey’s album drops soon… RIHANNA BEST BE WATCHIN’ THE THRONE!

  31. “Yeahh, yeah, yeahhh yeahh. NOOOOOOOO”

    -’Drunk On Love’ by Rhianna

  32. nothing wrong with critiquing pop music, there’s some good stuff out there (though not all that much at the moment in my grumpy young opinion) and Breihan is good at it. i do think the poptimist attitude gets to be too much though when certain mediocrities get propped up as good just cuz people need to pick something that captures the “zeitgeist” or whatever.

    i mean i can’t imagine anyone listening to anything on this album and honestly saying any song comes close to “Umbrella” for instance, no matter how big “We Found Love” gets.

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