Rihanna has switched gears with her latest album, ANTI, which was released on January 27 on Tidal and on Rihanna’s website. The release of the album was bungled by Tidal, who released it two days early, but in general, things have gone smoothly. Billboard reports that the album was also available to fans for free within the first 24 hours after release. This arrangement was thanks to a partnership with Samsung and Tidal. Rihanna was ecstatic with the news of reaching a million downloads within 15 hours.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) January 28, 2016
“1 MILLION in under 15 hrs!!!! NAVY R die!!!! Thank u to all my fans and @samsungmobileus Listen to ANTI now: http://smarturl.it/getANTI.”
Rihanna was also happy that her album hit Platinum, at least by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) standards, that she shouted out to her fans in a big way.
You guys legit made me the happiest girl in the world!! I'm so grateful that you appreciate the #ANTI album! It's the most rewarding feeling
— Rihanna (@rihanna) January 28, 2016
Rihanna's 'ANTI' has become the fastest album in history to be certified Platinum! pic.twitter.com/unLR4xaTU7
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) January 29, 2016
But Billboard has different standards when determining when an album has gone platinum and so far, ANTI hasn’t met those standards. Digital Trends reports that Silvio Pietroluongo, the director of charts at Billboard, said they don’t count free downloads when it comes to the charts.
“[We have a] well documented policy of not counting free albums towards the charts.”
Pietroluongo also explained that there is a discrepancy between how Billboard and RIAA determine the status of an album.
“Billboard and the RIAA don’t always coincide with how they count things. [RIAA’s] platinum albums have always operated under their own sort of rules.”
As for the style of Rihanna’s new album, it is a shift from what she has done in the past. Vox reports that she has traded in straight pop for something a little more soulful.
“Before Anti, Rihanna’s music was best listened to while raucously pregaming, glaring past lesser mortals, and dancing your face off at the sweatiest part of the night until you shut the party down. But with Anti— her first full album since 2012’s Unapologetic— Rihanna sets the scene for the more intimate afterparty. This is an album for those straggling, happy drunks who stay an hour later than everyone else, winding around the empty dance floor with a half-empty bottle in hand… and then accidentally on purpose slide into bed together.”
Time also reviewed Rihanna’s new album and agrees there is definitely a change in style between ANTI and Rihanna’s previous albums, which weren’t generally consistent bodies of work.
“Yet Anti, as its title suggests, flips the order of Rihanna’s universe. It bets on the value of cohesive albums in a pop universe dominated by singles and wisely lets its star — her talents, her whims, her personality — become the center of gravity. In throwing out everything you think you know about a Rihanna album, Rihanna shows you why you’d want one in the first place.”
The change in style explains why fans had to wait three years for ANTI. Rihanna was trying something new.
Most definitely Rihanna!???? pic.twitter.com/DEAGFW4lCA
— Rihanna ANTI (@LuvahOfFenty) January 17, 2016
But the wait was worth it, particularly because of Rihanna’s cover of Tame Impala’s song “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” which she retitled “Same Ol’ Mistakes,” is especially fabulous. Rolling Stone reports that Rihanna’s team got permission from Spinning Top to cover the song.
“Kevin [Parker] was more than happy to send it her way. We’re all really happy with how the song turned out, love it!”
It appears that Rihanna is far more versatile in her musical talent than anyone really knew. And there is no doubt that ANTI will become a chart-topper with Billboard when given a little more time. It’s good to see Rihanna back.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]