Hear Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk” (Featuring Jay-Z) And “Where Have You Been”
Well, it happened — the inevitable leak that plagues just about every major artist right before their LP officially drops. Welcome to the club, Rihanna! You’re in fine company. The cheeky diva has been one of the most prolific ladies in the biz of late, as we got “We Found Love” (along with the stylish, cinematic vid and some tantalizing remixes) along with follow-up single “You Da One.” Now Talk That Talk has found its way to impatient fans in its entirety. Is it, as VH1 claimed, the dirtiest pop record since Madonna’s Erotica? Listen to the Jay-Z featuring title track and the Dr. Luke/Calvin Harris-produced “Where Have You Been” to find out.
Yes, Talk That Talk certainly has its fair share of sex talk, from the dirty but fairly typical come-ons in “Roc Me Out” (“I’ve been a bad girl, daddy”) to Jay-Z’s unsurprisingly potty-mouthed contribution on the title track.
But beyond The-Dream’s “Birthday Cake” (which dances around naughty but none-too-appealing cake puns before Rihanna just comes out and says “I wanna f*ck you right now”) and the Bionic-esque lack of subtlety in “Cockiness” (we have a feeling RiRi’s “I love it when you eat it” refrain isn’t referring to, um, birthday cake), there isn’t a whole lot to be scandalized by. (We’ve heard too many blatant references to oral sex in pop music lately to bat an eye at anything here.) And there are still a number of love songs that are tame as tame can be!
So instead, let’s talk that talk about “Where Have You Been” — a worthy follow-up to “We Found Love” (also produced by Calvin Harris). That lead single had primed us for an album that might be a bit more clubby than Talk That Talk actually is. “Where Have You Been” is actually the only other song that sounds anything like “We Found Love” and, at first listen, is probably our favorite new cut from the LP.
Also notable — the downbeat ballad “Drunk On Love,” which is lush and lovely (thanks largely to its sampling of the xx’s “Intro”). Beyond these few standouts (and having not heard the bonus tracks in their entirety), our take is as follows: Talk That Talk is a perfectly decent pop album that doesn’t quite live up to the high hopes built by its lead single “We Found Love,” but should leave most Rihanna fans reasonably pleased (and will have us giving it a few more spins to see what grows on us).