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Rihanna releases Anti as free download

By | Published on Thursday 28 January 2016


Alright, calm down everyone. Rihanna’s new album is out now. And contrary to what you might have thought after listening to new single ‘Work’ yesterday, it’s actually quite good.

The fairly shoddy Drake-featuring ‘Work’ was aired on Radio 1 and Capital FM yesterday afternoon, after being made available on iTunes and Tidal. The release was in line with details published by Billboard earlier this week, which also said that the album was on its way this week too. And here we are.

As you might have guessed, ‘Anti’ is a Tidal exclusive. As you might not have guessed, ‘Anti’ is also being made available as a free download. Presumably this is as a result of the singer’s Samsung sponsorship, though it’s mainly pushing a 60 day free trial of Tidal that comes with it. But with FLAC as well as MP3s available in the download bundle, you don’t need to take the streaming service up on that offer to experience the album in high quality.

It may not be Rihanna’s ‘Chinese Democracy’, but the ups and downs in the creation of ‘Anti’ have long been reported. Previously released tracks ‘FourFiveSeconds’, ‘American Oxygen’ and ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ are all missing, with only interlude ‘James Joint’, released last April, remaining. This news may or may not please you.

What is on the album is a slightly mixed bag, with occasionally confused tone, but a lot of good tracks. Lighter moments should appease fans turned off by the darker, occasionally experimental turns she takes.

Weirdly, the record features a cover of ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’, the closing track from Tame Impala’s fairly recently released ‘Currents’ album. They say you should make a cover version your own, which Rihanna has done by changing the title to ‘Same Ol Mistakes’. Other than that, it’s basically exactly the same track with Kevin Parker’s lead vocals removed and Rihanna’s dropped in their place. It’s a good track, but mainly because the original is a good track.

But, for all its odd quirks and moments of corner-cutting – which really do seem odd for an album that took so long to make – it does feel like Rihanna is making a statement and a play for longevity. As her tweet earlier this week suggested, it’s an album that requires attention and some serious listening on the part of the fan. Though perhaps not in those headphones.

Anyway, have a free copy of the album on us.