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Review: Rihanna's 'Talk that Talk'

November 21, 2011|By Ernest Wilkins, RedEye

** (out of four)

I'll start this by admitting upfront that I'm not Rihanna's target audience. Hell, If we're being completely transparent, I'm the guy trying to sleep with Rihanna's target audience.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way: This album is a Frankenstein monster of "I am in charge of my sexuality and you can't do anything about it" chest-thumps (the title track)  and "For the love of God, will you just do me already?" songs ("Birthday Cake" "Cockiness (Love It)"), and the mix is confusing when presented as a complete work.  Which Rihanna is the real one again?   

Also, can we do away with this whole "Mainstream America probably hasn't heard this song, so I'll just sing over it!" trend in pop music? Rihanna warbles on top of "Intro" by the xx on "Drunk On Love" and none other than, yes, Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam" on "Red Lipstick."

Overall, "Talk That Talk" leans more towards ballads and should be a sturdy addition to Rihanna's ever-growing catalog of super-popular songs that aren't as good as "Umbrella" was. 

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