Rihanna's latest album 'Talk That Talk' is a predictable affair, and doesn't quite live up to the hype of her last few albums like 'Good Girl Gone Bad' and 'Rated R'. But even with the tried-and-tested album formula, there are still some club-banger songs and catchy melodies, making it an altogether enjoyable, but not exceptional album.
''You Da One'' - The album kicks off with one of the lesser songs, It's sugary sweet, but not in a good way. It's repetitive and soon gets very dull and boring, something you can't usually say about a Rihanna single. The fact that it's one of her only singles in recent times to not even hit the top 20 says it all.
''Where Have You Been'' - The second track is thankfully much more enjoyable, it has a mash of trance and dance-beats and electronic effects mixed with a strong vocal by Rihanna that make it almost perfect for club-play. Expect this one to be a single at some point in the future.
''We Found Love'' - Third is the album's first smash single, again with Calvin Harris, which is still hovering around the number 01 spot weeks after it's release. One of the best dance songs Rihanna has recorded, it's simple but infectious and the best song on the album by a long shot.
''Talk that Talk'' - The title track comes next, with Jay-Z making a guest appearance. The rap isn't exactly memorable, but it's bad either, and the song moves along nicely, while still not being quite what you'd expect from Rihanna.
''Cockiness (I love it)'' - Mixed feelings about this one. The beat is fantastic, frenetic and quite Beyonce-like, but the lyrics are a let down. They're sexual in an overly explicit way, and come across as just vulgar rather than sexy. I'm no prude, but it just seems like she's trying too hard compared to old songs like 'S&M' and 'Rude Boy'.
''Birthday Cake'' - An interlude rather than a full song, it comes in at just under 2 minutes. The lyrics again are very sexual in meaning, but again the actual beat and melody is quite catchy and it's the one song on the album that I wished had been longer.
''We All Want Love'' - Strangely, this sweet ballad comes right after the full on sexuality of the last few tracks, which is a bit jarring. It reminds me of Rihanna's old style ballads from her first few albums, and it's anthem-like but not the best on the album. Good, but not great.
''Drunk On Love'' - A really good song on the album, Rihanna sounds great on this track which is a slowed down pop/dance ballad. It manages to sound like a 90's trance track while still being really modern and good. Possible another single off the album.
''Roc Me Out'' - Sounding like it could have been took right from Rated R, this song has a heavy back-beat and full synth sound that is catchy. It has a darker feeling than the rest of the album, but works nicely as a little bit of diversity in among all the dance songs.
''Watch 'n' Learn'' - Calypso style fast song with a great hook, kind of like 'What's My Name' from her last album. I really like this one, and the sexy lyrics this time don't distract but work quite well for the song.
''Farewell'' - The closing song is an 'Unfaithful' style ballad, with really good vocals. Not anything special, but a nice closer to the album.
Bonus Tracks (on deluxe album only):
''Red Lipstick'' - Not the best on the album. Rihanna yet again gets the mix of sexy a little bit too over the top, and her vocal sounds like some adult movie soundtrack rather than a stand alone song.
''Do Ya Thing'' - A pure pop song with the same synth sound that runs through the album. Really good chorus with a lot of energy and fun, definatley a stand-out song.
''Fool In Love'' - A very pretty and soulful ballad, Rihanna sings her heart out on it.
The deluxe version comes with a photo-booklet and a fold out 'R' poster.
While 'Talk That Talk' doesn't have as many potential singles as 'Loud' or 'Good Girl...' had, it's not a bad album and is still a good listen overall.