How Big How Blue How Beautiful
Rihanna likes sex. She wants you to know this.
On her sixth album of an astonishingly prolific young career, the Bajan minx is a scattergun of innuendo, lascivious suggestion and keen insistence that she's going to give you the best night of your life. There isn't much reason to doubt her.
The sauce can get a bit wearing, with Roc Me Out hammering the hints ("Roc me out on the floor", pleas to pop round quickly "before I finish it off"), Cockiness (Love It) going bananas with the nudge-nudges ("Suck my cockiness/Lick my persuasion") and even Jay-Z getting in on the act with his title track boasts of "sex on the beach" and all the "b*tches" wanting to "f*** me" – but it's all framed by superior pop tunes.
We know the regretful We Found Love – made joyous by Calvin Harris's envied understanding of dance-pop dynamics – but there's equal sweetness in the machine-driven lovers' rock of You Da One, Watch N' Learn's wonderfully sunny tribal disco (it's about oral sex though, obviously) and Stargate production Drunk On Love's clever use of an XX sample to persuade us RiRi's vulnerable after all. Of course, she's strong as an ox and Talk That Talk only strengthens her hold on pop's, er, plough.