Once a proud proponent of the “album a year” model, Rihanna has in recent years steered in a different direction.
But that hasn’t been without bumps along the way.
Indeed, her last album ‘ANTI’ was marred by multi-year delays and spurned several “lead singles” before eventually striking gold with Drake collaboration ‘Work.’
And while the 2016 set would go on to birth other moderate hits such as ‘Needed Me’ and ‘Love On The Brain,’ it didn’t deliver smashes in the manner she’s accustomed to. A reality some say caused the LP’s like-titled tour to routinely play to half-empty venues.
To remedy this, RiRi is reportedly looking to embrace a more mainstream sound on her next go round.
Via The List:
Rihanna is going back to her roots on her next album. The hitmaker is reportedly planning to record songs in the style of her fifth studio LP, 2010’s, ‘Loud’, which spawned the hits ‘Love the Way You Lie’, ‘Cheers (Drink to That)’ and ‘Only Girl (In the World)’, rather than 2016’s R&B-orientated ‘Anti’.
Citing an insider, the report went on to add that:
“Rihanna loved ‘Anti’ but knows it wasn’t anywhere as successful as her previous albums. “She sat down with management and decided she needs to go back to what people love.”
Insiders come a dime a dozen, as such the proof will be in her next musical pudding.
That said, there are pros and cons should she really be looking to go “POP” again.
On the one hand, by serving up McMusic for the masses, she earned herself a broad fanbase who look to her for quick fix hits that allow for momentary escapism. Say what folk will, but that model worked and it’s what helped establish RiRi as a viable and sustainable alternative to the acts who presented themselves “seriously.” Put simply, despite not earning the Bajan belle much respect, it gave her a lane that was unequivocally hers.
On the other, (with ‘ANTI’) she garnered respect from select corners of the culture for serving up an album that – though devoid of “endless hits” – was cohesive. It’s also a project that has aged well.
So where does that leave her?
For us, we feel a healthy mix of the mainstream and the edgy would be most advantageous.
She shouldn’t abandon the darker tones of ‘ANTI,’ as she made legitimate artistic strides. Yet, that era proved that she’s not fully equipped to take that concept all the way. Indeed, to date, she’s still yet to relay what ‘ANTI’ – as an album or movement – even means. For, as deep as the attempt “tried” to be, the messaging and delivery were hollow.
As such, we’d love to see her keep it light, bright, and club-focal with the occasional sprinkles of ‘Diamonds’ and ‘Kiss It Better’ for good measure.
But no need for the overt, try-hard seriousness. Because there are other artists doing that bigger and better already.