Talk That Talk
Label: Def Jam Recordings
With love-drunk lyrics and throbbing club beats, much of Talk sounds like Rihanna recorded it while joyously spinning in circles. Don't worry: she's still a naughty girl, too -- more than ever. But in place of Loud's themes of strength in submission, Riri climbs on top this time, making demands, acting the aggressor, even requesting you suck her "Cockiness." Her "Red Lipstick" marks her claim on hip-hop masculinity, rather than on a man, but even her self-presentation as a "Birthday Cake" feels like a finger-snapping command. Talk is a sexy, confident play on notions of power.