When I look outside my window, I can't get no peace of mind
This album came out a few days ago, I don't think it's on Youtube. You can get it from Tidal, or something??? I checked it out on sort of a whim... I'm not the hugest Rihanna fan, but I like some of her singles, and there was a lot of hype around this as an album. And I was pretty impressed! It's not wholly outside what I would have imagined possible for Rihanna, nothing too "mindblowing", but that isn't what I wanted. I wanted catchy pop with powerful patois-tinged vocals and bleeding edge multi-million dollar production, and I got that, I got the best version of that I could have hoped for.
I was completely sold by the end of this track, and the transition into the smokey-sweet "James Joint" (which, to my disappointment, didn't turn out to be a nonsensical James Joyce pun). Like as soon as I heard that heavy, crunchy, lofi, almost early Odd Future-esque bass, I knew this had that clutch combination you can only get pop music, where you have an artist ready to expand her repertoire, and explore new spaces in sound, but with such a huge financial momentum behind her that these bold ideas are brought to such heights of perfection such that no one could be turned off.
Sure, the idea of this almost "gentrification of sound" might seem initially distasteful, but the results are something wholly unique... this fusion between this sort of sonic environment with Rihanna and SZA's glorious soaring voices above it, it's so beautiful, so kinetic and invigorating. I love how it starts with her rapping, and then it just explodes more and more into the melodic dimensions, and then SZA's leap into the high soprano at the end of the hook... it's always a little more bold than I remember it, it's always a bit surprising. Really masterful work.