Rihanna's 8th studio album ANTI has been infamously plagued by a number of setbacks and delays: the relative underperformance of the albums first three singles that in a strange turn of events didn't make the album they were supposed to promote (the #4 "FourFiveSeconds," #13 "Bitch Better Have My Money," and #78 "American Oxygen"), the approximate release date being pushed back month after month starting in May, and the often complete silence from team Rihanna. Finally, a year after the release of its MIA lead single, ANTI has reached the hands of an unsuspecting public.
The album is a notable departure from Rihanna's previous stylings (hence the "anti"), with the production being notably restrained, Rihanna's Caribbean accent freely flowing, and explicit, unrestrained drug references (notably to crack and of course, marijuana). There's no buoyant synths like in "We Found Love," slamming piano chords like "Diamonds," or even infectious hooks ala "Umbrella." The album is strikingly minimalist, and rarely steps out of its relaxed flow.