On January 28th, 2016 Rihanna released her most critically acclaimed album yet.
ANTI became the top album released by a female artist in 2017. It received accolades previously unimaginable to the humble Barbados native. The album went on to spend over 100+ weeks in the Billboard 200. 3 of the singles spent weeks in the top 10. The leading single “Work” (feat. Drake) debuted at no. 9 within in no time it was at no. 1 where it remained for 9 weeks. This easily became one of the most memorable albums of 2016 due to its impact on pop culture.
The album has lived out to its second year as a result because of its infectious use of variety while maintaining concept. It’s now safe to determine the top 6 songs on the album.
#6 – “Woo” Feat. Travis Scott
This song very much showcases a side of Rihanna that seems familiar yet tests her musicianship. The tone is filled with electrifying energy while it still holds a dark theme. Rihanna often seems to perfect that theme without much effort. The concepts relying through the lyrics seem to dither between resentful and doleful speech. Travis Scott’s contribution adds a playful tone that sort of picks on whoever the song is about. In essence of time, the song grew with much elegance.
#5 – “Consideration” feat. SZA
This intricate bop was one that was supposed to go on SZA’S Ctrl when it was just in the works. Rihanna knew she was listening to a gem and did what she could to have it on ANTI. Beautifully so, she was right. “Consideration” is the song that brought this album together for what it really is; an electrifying ride with many emotions along the way. The tune really dissects what it means to have fame in a darker light. The lyricism involves surface-level annotating and that is what makes the tune so simply beautiful. In addition, the sonics are stellar and polished. It’s a good thing Rihanna fought for this one.
#4 – “Yeah, I Said It”
This is one of Rihanna’s sexiest songs. Much like the album, she explores a new idea within the lyrics of the song. Although she is notorious for her rebellious outlook, the song showcases a more vehement side of Rihanna. It flaunts how intensely she highlights lust.
#3 – “Love On The Brain”
In this astonishing live performance of “Love On The Brain” the 29-year-old defines what it means to be passionately in love. One of the many reasons fans love this song is for how much emotion Rihanna is able to portray in her songs. Her voice begins a higher airy tone where her vulnerability exceeds the point of expectation while she becomes raw. As a result her voice grows raspy and it becomes especially relevant to mention her vocal strength. This gem of a song not only showcases her vocal ability flawlessly, it also reveals how real she is willing to be, with just her tone.
#2 “Close To You”
Rihanna is someone who boldly admires her ability to be susceptible as well as genuine. In the ballad that is “Close To You” she reveals that she is nonetheless just as desolate anyone who is going through the same situation. She allows herself to tell us that she sometimes feels strongly for those who don’t feel the same way as her. With simple piano chords and exploration of her lower register, Rihanna perfectly conveys what it means to be close to someone.
#1 “Kiss It Better”
A fan-favorite takes our #1 spot to conclude the piece. Rihanna explores what it is to raise the stakes in sonics by conveying to us how to justly use 80’s synths with an amazing guitar solo. Revealing the more playful side to her, we get a chance to hear more of her work on the music itself rather than the lyrics. With this intricate 80’s inspired bop, she earned herself a Grammy nomination and even more importantly it became the most acclaimed song on the album.
Rihanna redeemed herself with this project. She was willing to show us sides of her that we had yet to know existed. Her team indulged in remaining consistent within her sound while also exploring new sounds and concepts. Rihanna renounced herself as the bold and innovative woman she is and because of that ANTI is an outstanding album and it will forever remain one of the most remembered albums of 2016. Happy 2nd Birthday, ANTI.
What are your favorite songs off ANTI? Let us know in the comments below!