I never knew there were so many ways to say that you like sex–that is, until I listened to Rihanna’s latest album Talk That Talk. And needless to say, this album isn’t for the conservative. True to Rihanna form (you know, building on her earlier hits “Rude Boy” and “S&M”), just two of the deluxe album’s 15 tracks have sexual connotations muted enough to not totally offend virgin ears. As for the other 13 songs? Catchy beats and memorable hooks–when coupled with raunchy lyrics like “I love it when you eat it”–are likely to tune just about anyone into their inner slut. So much so, in fact, that you might find yourself obliviously singing along to suggestive cants about nibbling icing off of a birthday cake, or straight-up demands to “suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion.” (That said–and I speak from experience–I advise against ad lib karaoke when wearing headphones in public.) Sure, I’m as much of a fan as I am ready to throw dear Rhi-rhi under the bus for contributing to the recent explosion of sociocultural whoredom. Nonetheless the album’s quickly become my guiltiest pleasure of 2012 thus far, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been playing it on loop–applauding her bold lyrical chops all the while. With Talk That Talk, Rhi-rhi’s consistent in keeping her content super sexually charged, but stylistically her captivating tunes are so multifaceted that they’re bound to resonate with a diverse set of music lovers. The album’s songs vary from its hip hop-heavy title track featuring Jay-Z, to the reggae-influenced jam, “You Da One,” to techie/dub step/pop hits like “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been.” Loaded with banging club hits, the disc’s sure to be a favorite in schoolyards and Zumba classes alike. If you’re up to giving Talk That Talk a listen, first stock up on Q-tips–because Rhi-rhi’s talking will leave your ears feeling extra dirty. But hey, you’ll at least have learned a few new ways to say you like sex.
Rating: 9 out of 11