Review Roundup: Rihanna – ‘Talk That Talk’

Talk That Talk

Rihanna doesn’t plan on going anywhere. With her LOUD album still sitting on the charts, the pop princess extends her reign with her sixth album in six years Talk That Talk, available now. Today’s biggest hitmakers including Dr. Luke, Bangladesh, Stargate, The-Dream, Ester Dean, Alex Da Kid, and No I.D. deliver their best on RiRi’s raunchiest record yet. Did she satisfy critics with tracks like the salacious “Cockiness (Love It)” and her chart-topping single “We Found Love”? Find out below.

The New York Times: Talk That Talk, her sixth album, is maybe the first to suggest the place that’s been hiding in plain sight all along, placing Rihanna squarely at the center of the pop genre best suited for a singer of her fundamental evanescence: dance music, which conveniently is the mode du jour of contemporary R&B and pop.

USA Today: But probably the most potent ingredient in the mix is the Barbadian singer’s charisma. With her knowing naughtiness, she keeps the constant innuendos from becoming tiresome. They seem to come with a wink and a smile. 3/4

Rolling Stone: Rihanna’s sixth album is her tightest, most assured yet—a relentlessly catchy and danceable pop album, with first-rate contributions from top songwriter-producers. It’s also Rihanna’s smuttiest record by far. 3.5/5

Entertainment Weekly: It’s a relief to find that on her blissed-out sixth album, Talk That Talk, she’s stopped trying to play it so tough. … She’s still got two token I-like-it-rough tracks—”Birthday Cake” and “Cockiness (Love It)”—but they’re just filler on an album that’s all about dragging you out of the bedroom and onto the dance floor. B+

Los Angeles Times: Even the slower songs feature double-snare riddims that suggest energy, even when paced down; overall, the bass is heavier, the sounds are nastier, and by the second half of the record, Rihanna’s intentions are decidedly, unapologetically …. hornier. Call it Technotronic on steroids, Lady Gaga on Viagra, Millie Jackson on ecstasy: These are pumped-up hits aimed at the pelvic region. 2/4

Chicago Tribune: A couple of tracks show the kind of progression and depth that typified Rated R: the electro-acoustic, No I.D.-produced anthem “We All Want Love” and “Drunk on Love,” in which Rihanna lets a little vulnerability creep in over a haunting break beat from British minimalists the XX. Otherwise, Talk That Talk sounds like a rush job designed to keep Rihanna rolling through the holidays. 2/4

The Boston Globe: We turn to Rihanna for kicks, sure, but also, thanks to a voice whose limitations give her a supple vulnerability, for a tinge of bittersweet pain. Talk That Talk is at its best when it’s working that angle, as on chart-topping advance single “We Found Love.”

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “We Found Love,” “Talk That Talk,” “We All Want Love,” “Watch N’ Learn”

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73 Comments

  1. TEAMFOXYDONDIVA

    Rihanna the pop gimmick with a vocal limit

    [Reply]

    JasonKing Reply:

    @TEAMFOXYDONDIVA, I agree Gimmick indeed. I can’t take her seriously. No originality, no substance. Her music is for brainless kids.

    Empty!

    [Reply]

    Name Here Reply:

    @JasonKing, Rihanna hase been in the industry for 6 years she isnt a gimmick and she does have originality who has she copied from please tell me….

    [Reply]

    KillBill Reply:

    @Name Here, Are you serious? Beyonce has been her image when she first started off!!! <===Do your research, wiki, Google. Being a gimmick doesn't mean you copied somebody it means you are being someone your not fake, and that's what she has been portraying for the past 6 years.

    [Reply]

    StarsAreBlind Reply:

    @JasonKing, Let’s not go too far there. She is original, if only with her looks, you have to admit that. You could also tell me who else makes music like her (mixing R&B with different genres for each album). I don’t even like her like that, but I’m not delusional. I have to give the girl some credit, and she has definitely had deep songs (Rehab, Fire Bomb, Take A Bow, Unfaithful, ect.) People always say sex is so cliché and overdone, but where? Every other pop artist is trying to play it safe for the kids, but at least Rihanna isn’t letting 13 year old kids and their mothers run her career. I’ll agree on the vocal limit though, and I really could care less about her performances, but give credit where it’s do.

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    @TEAMFOXYDONDIVA, I completely agree. She has no depth as an artist the fact that her album cover is a rip off of one of Beyoncé’s looks in the Run The World video tells me all I ever knew about her. Ester Dean is keeping her relevant.

    [Reply]

  2. Kayla

    I think Rihanna is gorgeous and I bought her last CD, but this new music is pure crap. These songs are so empty and a lot of them are just plain dirty. If we as fans support everything an artist puts out even if it’s bad, they’ll think it’s ok to keep putting out mediocre music.

    [Reply]

    Irene Reply:

    @Kayla, Very well said Kayla!

    [Reply]

  3. dilio

    where have u been is the best!!

    [Reply]

  4. p

    It was an ok album IMO. By no means am i being a hater, but i defo think she needs a break. Good Girl Gone Bad was by far her best work and she did good by dragging that era out :) She shouldnt of dropped the Loud era so fast, it was doing so well. She could of carried on with Loud till Summer 2012 then put this album out with abit more work. It does sound rushed but whatever.

    I like ‘We Found Love’ ‘Cockiness’ ‘Birthday Cake’ ‘Talk That Talk’ and ‘Roc Me Out’

    [Reply]

    StarsAreBlind Reply:

    @p, agreed!

    [Reply]

  5. love it

    cake

    [Reply]

    whoohooo Reply:

    cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake :D :D :D

    [Reply]

  6. Humberto

    Talk That Talk and You Da One are a bit generic, but if you let it go, you can enjoy them.

    Overall, it’s a fierce and cohesive album, with dark and sexy elements that make this her best effort yet.

    My favorite: Drunk On Love, Birthday Cake, Cockiness, Where Have You Been, Red Lipstick, Fool In Love.

    [Reply]

  7. Humberto

    Talk That Talk and You Da One are a bit generic, but if you let it go, you can enjoy them.

    Overall, it’s a fierce and cohesive album, with dark and sexy elements that make this her best effort yet.

    My favorite: Drunk On Love, Birthday Cake, Cociness, Where Have You Been, Red Lipstick, Fool In Love.

    [Reply]

  8. kerron

    I cant understand the nerve of these music critics. on one hand the praise Drake’s album which is complete shit and then hate on this.

    this is simply rihanna’s best album to date

    [Reply]

    UhOh Reply:

    @kerron, that tittle belongs to “Loud” -o-

    [Reply]

    Fan Of A Fan Reply:

    @kerron, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!
    drakes album is so shit but yet they still praise it. the only song i like from that album is take care ft rihanna.

    Talk that talk is an amazing album

    [Reply]

    mistwalker Reply:

    @kerron, wtf shut get out of here good girl gone bad is her best album then loud this new album is crap it was rushed im surely not buying this

    [Reply]

    ThankMeLater Reply:

    @kerron, actually drake’s album for 1 wasn’t rushed. Okay? and 2 he actually grew compared to his last album unlike Rih here who’s going backwards.

    [Reply]

  9. shermoon

    great album. It is a grower

    fav track.
    talk that talk
    roc me out
    drunk on love
    fool in love

    [Reply]

  10. UhOh

    BAAAAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!
    Rap-Up picked every track that i HATE from this album and i actually deleted them from my iPod!!

    get it together Rap-Up…

    [Reply]

    justme Reply:

    @UhOh, I did too.. did she go to europe for this music cuz it ain’t working ova here

    [Reply]

  11. UhOh

    cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake

    [Reply]

    Ice Reply:

    @UhOh, It’s a shame that its only an interlude. They couldh’ve afforded to put the whole song, the album is less than 40 minutes long. -_-

    [Reply]

  12. Matthew Fridrich

    Gtfo Drake’s album Take Care is the best album this year and Rihanna album is good. Your all a bunch of haters.

    [Reply]

    mofan95 Reply:

    @Matthew Fridrich, cosign

    [Reply]

    OVOXO Reply:

    @Matthew Fridrich, cosign

    [Reply]

    uhuh Reply:

    @Matthew Fridrich, co-sign everything u said. except wtt > take care. i’ve deleted like 4-5 songs from take care. i dont skip any track from WTT (sometimes Lift off)

    [Reply]

    mistwalker Reply:

    @uhuh, joke chris brown has the best album this year, fame was the bomb, drake turned a singer on the album such a pity rihanna needs to take her time making these albums this is the same level as rated R sub par music

    [Reply]

    uhuh Reply:

    @mistwalker, sit down somewhere, ok.

    [Reply]

    Moss Reply:

    @Matthew Fridrich, just because someone disagrees with you doesnt mean they’re haters? what makes your opinion more valid than there’s? If anything you sound like a nazi…. anybody who disagrees with you is wrong huh? gtf outta here

    [Reply]

    AEROL Reply:

    @Matthew Fridrich, cosign!

    [Reply]

  13. toast2doinITonEM

    when it comes to single…the girl got skills…at this point…11 #1′s…number dont lie…and in 6 years too!…there is no way u can hate on that…she has never had the strongest collection of songs when it came to her albums…but every album she puts out gets better and better…this is by far her best…and LOUD was her best last year…im waiting for that ‘thriller’ of hers…she will never have an album that epic…but in the sense that every song is a single…this album proofs she has that capability…at least 8 of the 12 songs i could see on the radio…on top of that…she is f**king beautiful…and confident…a fashion icon…a bizness woman…if this album says anything…its that she knows wtf she is doing…

    [Reply]

    uhuh Reply:

    @toast2doinITonEM, u can remove your tongue from her butthole now.

    [Reply]

    AEROL Reply:

    @uhuh, hahahah!

    [Reply]

    uhuh Reply:

    @AEROL, rofl

    [Reply]

  14. NEUTRON

    I’m loving TalkThatTalk

    [Reply]

  15. Matthew Fridrich

    @uhuh WTT is not better then Take Care.

    [Reply]

    KillBill Reply:

    @Matthew Fridrich, Yes it is. Drake is to busy trying to sing when everybody know he is not going to get a Grammy for best vocal performance. I only like 4 songs off his album the rest ehhhhhhhhh.

    [Reply]

  16. Matthew Fridrich

    @Moss Did I say you had to agree with me? No, Gtfo nobody was talking to you. This was never a Drake article anyways so yes they all are haters. If you don’t like Drake’s album you don’t have to. You can’t say its shit though cause it was praised by all critics and I got a 4 star rating. 2nd don’t ever say I’m like a natzi you ignorant fuck.

    [Reply]

  17. Matthew Fridrich

    @Moss Did I say you have to like Drake’s album? No, gtfo nobody was talking to you. First this was never a drake article it was a rihanna and then people come on it talking shit saying Drake’s album is horrible when in no way is it horrible. You might not like it, but you can’t say its horrible. It got a 4 star rating and was praised by all critics. 2nd don’t ever say I’m like a natzi saying if you don’t agree then your wrong by me. Gtfo that’s some ignorant shit cause I’m an american and I hate the nazi’s.

    [Reply]

  18. Matthew Fridrich

    So yes they are haters. Obviously if they come on here talking shit saying Drake sucks when this isn’t even a drake article. Then yes they are haters this article has nothing to do with Drake.

    [Reply]

    Pucci Reply:

    @Matthew Fridrich, I dont think you have anything to worry about. A lot of ppl liked Drake’s album. Dont get bent outta shape just becasue these kids would ratehr listen to Rihanna & Jay-Z.

    [Reply]

  19. Rihanna navy

    rihanna always the best. TALK THAT TALK!!!

    [Reply]

  20. Name Here

    The album was good the only low point for me was farewell besides that it was good

    [Reply]

  21. Chris shorts

    Me bring a hardcore rihanna fan I feel this is not her best I still think loud could of had a lil more time . Rated r was her best coming after good girl gone bad , rated r just had that much more emotion behind it because of what she was going through , I like this album but she could of gave ne skit more ….

    O yea sn whoever said drake album sucks you dong know music ge crafted one of generations greatest works , and Stevie wonder did a great job inspiring the creative direction

    [Reply]

  22. Audrey Hepburn

    Even though this album was somewhat a mash-up of “Rated R” & “Loud,” it still managed to bring sexiness, freshness, and creativity from her that we don’t see in….

    1. Katy Perry (2nd class Gaga)
    2. Britney Spears (spare tire)
    3. Kelly Clarkson (genre-confused AI winner)
    4. Christina Aguliera (chunky-monkey)
    5. and any other so-called “pop diva” with no
    sex appeal

    [Reply]

    KillBill Reply:

    @Audrey Hepburn, Katy she is coming for Rih’s single, she already has 6 with 2 albums.
    Britney has nothing else to prove she’s a legend.
    Kelly Clarkson voice will slay Rih entire career.
    Christina>Rihanna.

    [Reply]

    Audrey Hepburn Reply:

    @KillBill, Not in this lifetime, boo. Britney a legend? Don’t make me spit out my SmartWater.

    … and you should stick to defending that amazon trainwreck that’s currently faking a pregnancy. She needs all the help and attention she can get right about now. Ok sweetie? Thanks :)

    [Reply]

    KillBill Reply:

    @Audrey Hepburn, When her baby shower comes up ask Rihanna how was it we all know she will be in attendance.

    [Reply]

    Audrey Hepburn Reply:

    @KillBill, …. I don’t think so. Rihanna will be too busy at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. She’ll take a raincheck :)

    [Reply]

  23. Jfenty

    gREAT ALBUM!

    [Reply]

  24. Matthew Fridrich

    Good looking out Chris Shorts!

    [Reply]

  25. @matt_hamrick

    I really like this album. Sure, she doesn’t write hardly any of her material, but lyrically this album reminds me of old Janet Jackson. It’s so dirty, and it’s not the norm for female pop stars to be that dirty on radio-friendly sounding songs.

    For instance, “Birthday Cake,” is both ridiculous and amazing at the same time! That beat is crazy and it’s so catchy even though it says Cake, cake, cake, cake a thousand times lol.

    [Reply]

  26. @matt_hamrick

    Oh and btw, I hate reading reviews when people say this album sucks simply because she’s been releasing albums every year. That is not a reason for disliking this album. This is her best work, in my opinion whether it took years to put together or 2 days.

    [Reply]

  27. KillBill

    Next Year Nov 20. Your gonna get a new album from Rihanna, and a new tour and new look. Expect this for the next 3 years.

    [Reply]

  28. Giamma

    Queen Of Pop-in-chief!

    [Reply]

  29. Billionaire

    Talk That Talk!

    [Reply]

  30. leroy

    these reviews to this album is terrible my god that is not good at all:(

    [Reply]

  31. Smh

    Smh.. if this is riri’s best work then that means she isn’t a great singer/artist or wateva.. riri is a gimmick. every cd= a new riri..smh i like sum of the songs, but i wudn’t call this music its repetitive dance crap. When u need to clear ur head of stress- u listen or watch meanless , talentless peoples/music/shows..etc. Rihanna doesn’t always have good songs as in good quality meaningful music.. that type of music would probably be found in rated R & unfaithful & take a bow.. I am a riri fan but not to any crazy “riri’s the best singer ever” extent because honestly- she’s jus generic pop/dance wit no singing skills so she has to talk about sex & show off her body all the time or change up her looks or music to make her revelant. To be considered seriously, when she’s older cause i understand she just wanna have fun now; she needs to gets some singing lessons & she REAL music again or for once….#Truth

    [Reply]

  32. Phoenix_Wright

    “Otherwise, Talk That Talk sounds like a rush job designed to keep Rihanna rolling through the holidays” – Chicago Tribune

    I really felt the same way, i like 5 songs but the rest are bland

    [Reply]

  33. JUICY

    WHY THE HELL IS PEOPLE COMPARING DRAKE ALBUM TO RI RI YALL NEED HELP BUT ANYWAYS THIS CD IS A MISS SHE NEED A BREAK PERIOD IN THATS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOVE ALWAYS
    JUICY

    [Reply]

  34. Real Issh

    Drunk On Love is the SHYT ! IMO .

    [Reply]

    Brian B.. Reply:

    @Real Issh, mine too, I needed more of that on this album and I feel like had she taken a few more months on this she woulda given us a masterpiece

    [Reply]

  35. don't hate lipo

    Luv all the song even tho RIRI gonna keep doing what she been doing cuz this album is Great.

    [Reply]

  36. Kyle

    I kind of agree with the Chicago Tribune’s review in terms of some of the songs having a darker edge close to what was on “Rated R,” which I LOVED. Overall I’m digging the album. One question though…why the hell couldn’t “Birthday Cake” be a FULL SONG!? Yes, it’s kind of repetitive and dirty, but it’s so addicting. I was so upset when it went on to track #7 after 1:18.

    [Reply]

  37. xedos

    @JasonKing, who has she copied she set the trend. she re started the dance music crazy with “please don’t stop the music” before gaga and all the rest umbrella was different from anything on the radio. she does reggae, rock, rnd she introduce north america to dubstep.
    which other artist is doing music like rihanna

    [Reply]

  38. maya

    This is album was fucking terrible.

    I put “Where Have You Been,” & “We Found Love,” in my ipod but they got annoying quickly so there coming out

    [Reply]

    Real Issh Reply:

    @maya, Lmaooo – No ” Drunk On Love”?

    [Reply]

  39. I Was Here

    Rihanna needs to have some serious vocal lessons and improve her stage performances, Otherwise she will be forgotten real soon (go ask Ciara & keri).

    The world is gradually changing when it comes to music. That means People are now only interested in talented artists (go ask Adele, U2 and Beyonce). That ‘dancy’ ‘pop’ interest is now fading.

    It’s not too late for her. But if she continues this way on her next lp project, i’m afraid to say that her career will be over.

    [Reply]

  40. me

    People from Entertainment Weekly must be outta their mind for calling “Cockiness (Love It)” a filler!!

    [Reply]

  41. Coolio

    worst album ever

    [Reply]

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