Worst to First! Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ Songs Ranked

rihanna anti songs ranked

Rihanna’s long-awaited eighth studio album, Anti has arrived guys. Rihanna unleashes a vulnerable side, delivers a strong vocal performance and experiments with various music genres on the anticipated record.

If you were expecting to hear pop smashes, forget it. FourFiveSeconds, BBHMM and American Oxygen are notably absent. As the title suggests, Anti is not your typical Rihanna album. So, was it worth the wait? There certainly are a few memorable moments, both good and bad. Which songs are worth listening to? Here’s a list of Anti songs ranked from worst to first…

13. Higher

Are we the only ones out there who do not like this track? Respect to Rihanna for daring to experiment but this is in our opinion, by no means a winning track on Anti. In Higher, Rihanna uses a husky and raspy voice that she’s never used before and we’re not sure if it’s a good thing. There’s passion, there’s emotion and there’s a sense of vulnerability but her vocals become too screechy to the point where they grate on you, making the song almost unlistenable. Don’t @ us.

12. James Joint

The singer is no stranger to controversy – even in her music! With opening lyrics like “I’d rather be smoking weed whenever we breathe”, James Joint makes you want to light one up, even if you’ve never lit one up before. The stoner anthem on Anti would have been a lot better had it been a longer track. As an interlude, James Joint is simply too short to even enjoy. But for all you 420 supporters out there, we’re sure it’s your fave on the album…

11. Same Ol’ Mistakes

Like we said, Anti lacks that obvious Rihanna sound. Same Ol’ Mistakes has a certain Lana Del Rey vibe to it. In fact, it makes us wish Rihanna collaborated with her on this one, just to give it that extra kick. Unfortunately, Ri’s version of Tame Impala’s New Person, Same Old Mistakes is a little too repetitive and hypnotic to make it a favorable track on the album.

10. Woo

Rihanna’s ex-boyfriend, Travis Scott, collaborates with her on the trippy and almost haunting, Woo. It would have been better if the rapper had a verse on this dark and distorted production. We won’t have this one on repeat, though. That background melody soon grows tiresome.

9. Yeah I Said It

Comparing to her classic, upbeat tracks like We Found Love or Umbrella, it’s safe to say Rihanna puts little effort in the snooze-fest that is Yeah I Said It. That’s not to say it isn’t sexy or relaxing though. This will definitely become fans’ “before bed” song, if you get what I mean…

8. Love on the Brain

“It beats me black and blue but it f-cks me so good”. Could RiRi be crooning about a certain Chris Brown in this one? Maybe. But let’s talk about the singer’s vocals. It’s true, the Fenty Beauty queen delivers some of her finest vocal moments in Love on the Brain. No matter how impressive her raw vocal tone is in this number, we still don’t think this genre suits the Rihanna we all know. Love on the Brain sounds like something lifted straight out of the 1950’s, sang by British retro superstar, Paloma Faith.

7. Never Ending

Once again Rihanna steps out of her commercial comfort zone and straight into indie/folk territory with Never Ending. Does anyone else feel like this song belongs to Coldplay? The acoustic ballad is simple, but slick. There’s even a reminiscence of Dido’s 1999 hit, Thank You. In fact, we actually do want to thank Rihanna for this hit. It’s a grower.

6. Needed Me

“Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage? F**k ya white horse and ya carriage”. YASS! Slay, Rih! This dubsteppy, self-empowered number is going to be the female savage anthem of 2016. Where’s the repeat button?

5. Close To You

The album’s closing track, Close To You serves as a Stay follow-up. The tender piano ballad is probably the only track on Anti that has a sense of emotion. We love it when Rihanna’s songs are stripped all the way back to just her vocals. That’s when she shines. Don’t overlook this one, just because it’s the album closer. Close To You is beautiful.

4. Consideration

Not a bad way to open the album, Rih. Rihanna and upcoming R&B artist, SZA team up in the cool and edgy track that is Consideration. It’s safe to say their vocals complement each other wonderfully. That bassline, their vocals, the lyrics – the record will certainly be a fan favourite. It’s full of awesomeness.

3. Desperado

Where’s the fire emoji because this track is straight up HOT! This is the Rihanna we’ve been looking for throughout this entire album. Finally, she’s back where she belongs. Her prowling vocals, the shuddering drums and heavy beat have helped make Desperado a stand-out hit on Anti.

2. Work

Before pressing play, we warn you, this song will stay in your head for the rest of the day, it’s super catchy! The Caribbean-inspired pop hit featuring none other than Drake is undeniably one of the stand-out hits on the album. This is where Rihanna slays, guys. Her talent lies with bangers and catchy pop tracks like Work. This track might annoy some, but it will make others want to wine and twerk. Ironically, Work is Anti’s least meaningful track but it’s the most radio-friendly, and one of our faves.

Fun fact? Work has also been ranked as the BEST Rihanna music video!

1. Kiss It Better

If there’s one incredible moment on Anti, it’s this. Kiss It Better is on rih-peat, guys and it’s slaying these ears of ours! The pop-rock ballad is officially the best song on the album. Rihanna’s singing takes centre stage and she sounds most familiar and confident in the smooth stadium anthem. We’re glad we waited 4 years for this.


Tale Teller

  • Angela Stephanou

    After completing her BA in Communication, Media and Film studies, Angela launched Tell Tales Online, and now writes and oversees the content and strategy across the site. As a pop culture junkie, she follows more celebs than real-life people, her guilty pleasure is watching The Kardashians, but she's also a fan of Marvel and Game of Thrones.

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