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Rihanna's new album 'Talk That Talk': First listen

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With few international artists vying for the Christmas market this year, it's all-the-more easy to get excited about Rihanna's sixth studio album Talk That Talk.

So, after being invited to listen to the LP earlier today ahead of its official release, you can imagine we were keen to spill our guts as soon as possible. Here are some notes we jotted down:

Rihanna 'You Da One'
1. You Da One (Produced by Dr Luke, Ester Dean)
Already billed as her next single (to be officially unveiled tomorrow), 'You Da One' is a bouncy, midtempo number oozing with Caribbean flavour. "You da one that I'm feeling/ You da one that I'm loving," she boasts before the chorus of playground chanting ensues, followed by a sludgy dubstep moment in the middle.

2. Where Have You Been (Produced by Dr Luke, Ester Dean)
This immediate standout kicks off to a cantering acoustic beat as RiRi wonders how she's been coping without the current beau in her life. As the trancey, Benny Benassi-esque beats slowly seep in, she asks, "Where have you been all my li-i-i-ife?" In short, it's the album's 'Don't Stop The Music'.

3. We Found Love (Produced by Calvin Harris)
You should all know about this one by now; and in the context of the rest of the album it's easily its most club-friendly moment.

4. Talk That Talk (Produced by Stargate, Ester Dean)
The only collaboration on the album, because, as her manager puts it: "We didn't believe in collaborations. It's important to stand on your own." Over a seductive, booty-bouncing riff that samples Notorious BIG's 'I Got A Story To Tell', Hova does his usual braggathon ("We're heading to the top/ If you're coming come on"), while Rihanna flirts: "I love the way you talk that talk to me."

Rihanna: 'Talk That Talk'
5. Cockiness (Love It) (Produced by Bangladesh)
"I want you to be my sex life," she reveals on this head-spinning cut that infuses dancehall, hip-hop and jungle beats to glorious effect. "Suck my cockiness/ Lick my persuasion/ Eat my words and then/ Swallow all your pride down," she unashamedly asks, before admitting, "I love it when you eat it" on the earworm hook.

6. Birthday Cake (Produced by Da Internz, Dream)
The LP is divided by this brief interlude, which clocks it at 1m 18s. "I'm-a make you my bitch/ It's not even my birthday/ I wanna f**k you right now," she teases over squelchy and distorted electro beats. On first listen, however, it seemed to disrupt the flow rather than help it along.

7. We All Want Love (Produced by NO I D, Ester Dean)
The first of two slower moments on the record (three including the bonus tracks), Ri admits that behind all the whips, chains and filthy puns, she's a big ol' softy at heart. "I can pretend that I'm not lonely/ but I'd be lying to myself," she admits over stadium-shaking drums and a lullaby guitar riff, before declaring: "We all want the same thing/ We all want love."


8. Drunk on Love (Produced by Stargate, Ester Dean)
We correctly guessed the producer of this track due to its trancey, 'Te Amo'-esque intro that samples The xx's own 'Intro'. Rihanna declares herself "a hopeless romantic... I just wanna be in love", over a storm of drums and clattering synths. It also includes the LP's most thoughtful lyric: "I wear my heart on my sleeve/ Always let love take the lead."

Rihanna: 'Talk That Talk'
9. Roc Me Out (Produced by Stargate, Rob Swire)
A jet-black, crotch-popping number oozing with 'tude and a killer chorus that makes for another standout moment. "Roc me out back and forth/ Roc me out on the floor... I've been a bad girl daddy," she teases. In short, it's the love child of her previous smashes 'Hard' and 'Rude Boy'.

10. Watch n' Learn (Produced by Hip Boy, Pricilia Renee)
Ri gets her Nicki Minaj on over a playful and flirtatious hip-pop melody and suitably grinding synths. In her speedy speech she tells her man everywhere she wants to get it on - including the bed, the floor and the couch.

11. Farewell (Produced by Alex Da Kid, Ester Dean)
The title may make it seem the obvious closing track, but this emotive ballad still manages to hold the pace. "So farewell/ Somebody's gonna miss that you were here," she calls out over a suitably rousing melody as she wishes the ex who dumped her all the best for the future...sob!

Bonus tracks

Rihanna 'We Found Love'
12. Red Lipstick (Produced by Chase & Status, The Dream, Rihanna)
Despite some dodgy claims that it pinches Metallica's 'Wherever I May Roam', Chase & Status have nonetheless put their stamp on this dark 'n' twisted dubstep number.

13. Do Ya Thang (Produced by The Dream, Rihanna)
A light and fluffy R&B number with a subtle hook and a simple message. RiRi states: "At the end of the day you are who you are and I love you that way." Can't say fairer than that now, can you?

14. Fool In Love (Produced by Dr Luke, Ester Dean)
Rihanna channels Madge in this midtempo closer about being in love with a bad boy. "Papa he's quite a man, he adores me/ he's my biggest fan," she insists over acoustic guitars that quickly build into '80s-rawk ones, before claiming: "We're too far down the hole/ He's got a hold on my soul."


Rihanna's Talk That Talk is released worldwide on November 21.

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