Rihanna’s New Single “Work”: Review Revue

Carl Williott | January 27, 2016 12:09 pm

Rihanna reemerged with “Work,” her “first” ANTI single this morning (January 27). The Drake-assisted number may be chill and tropical, but it sparked a rush of intense reactions primarily split between breezy obsession and bored disappointment.

More:: Rihanna's confusing 'ANTI' timeline

In our own writeup, we called it “a charming, if also somewhat sparse, affair,” adding, “after this long without Rihanna in our lives, we were all likely expecting her to return with a colossal bang. Alas, ‘Work’ just feels a bit like a slight pop. Maybe it’s a grower?”

Revisit the polarizing single and see what music outlets around the web are saying about it below:

:: Stereogum feels “‘Work’ is a good one — a sleek, uptempo, electronic hip-hop track in the vein of Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne’s ‘Truffle Butter’… it will be stuck in your head instantly.”

:: Spin echoed our ambivalence, writing “The song is… fine. It’s upbeat and fun and swishes about in its own glory. Drake’s verse is… also fine, but it’s really the singer who makes the lackadaisical song gel.”

:: The Guardian calls it a “glossy, modernist…straightforward song about facing the labours of work before play, but Rihanna’s vocals sound a little more disappointed and dejected.”

:: Jezebel points out “unlike ‘Bitch Better Have My Money,’ there’s no sub-bass whomping all over this single, giving Rihanna’s terrific-sounding vocal—a slack-mouthed, very mild patois—room to breathe… It’s got the tenderness that made Riri and Drake’s ‘Take Care’ so resonant and on the first five listens, it’s immediately better than ‘BBHMM.'”

:: Complex also praised Rih’s vocals. “The song is slower and very rhythmic with Rihanna showing off her vocal skills over the crafty production. Drake is also singing on the track, but it fits with the overall flow.”

:: Popcrush was underwhelmed by the “meandering dancehall mumble-fest.” “This is what we’ve been unlocking Samsung-$ponsored doors on our mobile phones and collecting mystery keys from strangers for over the past few months? RIH-lly? Oh, no.”

:: Billboard says “the only predictable thing about this song” is the Drake feature. “While it’s hardly a 180 degree turn for Rih, its minimal production subverts expectations.”

:: DIY was unimpressed, calling it “intentionally lazy. “‘Work’ is, simply, hard work to get on board with. Move beyond its repetitive, if infuriatingly memorable, chorus and it gives almost nothing away.”

Where do you stand on the great “Work” debate? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter.