I wasn't expecting anything from this release so I was pleasantly surprised by this it, and walked away with a few cuts I can add to my music library. Allow me to go into what I thought about each track.
Consideration was a good intro, the beat is simple and catchy and SZA's vocals blend well with Rihanna's in fact if you're not listening, you could miss her, she blends that well with Rihanna, which, could be a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
James Joint was my 3rd favorite song on the album right behind "Love on the Brain", and "Higher". It's also the shortest song on the album (Why are some of the BEST songs always so short? It's not fair! D:) but, I really enjoyed this song, the melody is soothing, and Rihanna's lyrics are very personal, (Is she talking about Chris Brown?) Her voice also compliments the beat very well.
Kiss it Better was really enjoyable as well. The lyrics pull you in (especially the "fuck your pride" parts) , and the hook is the best part of the song, I love the guitar that plays during the hook.
Work w/ Drake was very nice, I like how catchy it is with the subtle dancehall vibe. Although it is one of Drake's weaker guest appearances or at the very least one of the more forgettable Drake appearances (Usually I end liking him more than the artist who's song he's featured on) but this was Rihanna's song, through and through. I know a lot of people don't like when artists slur their words like future does to create a 'leaned out' feeling like Rihanna does on the hook. But it appealed to me. I almost want to call Drake's performance phoned in, but I only get that feeling because he literally sent his verse in.
Tracks 1-4 were all solid.
5 'Desparado' was pleasant but forgettable, I didn't take anything away from the song. Meh.
I thought "Woo" was the worst track on the entire album. I didn't like the autotune on the hook at all. I found the beat to be repetitive and boring as well. For the record, I didn't like 'Rodeo' either , (I know this sub loves Travis and that album, so cue the pitchforks now) so that should tell you how I feel about that sound. No bueno to me.
10."Never Ending" is my 4th favorite song on the album. I really liked this song. I dig the acoustic guitar. Rihanna's voice compliments the guitar perfectly, and she harmonizes well. Just an overall pleasant song, that wasn't forgettable.
'Love on the Brain' My favorite track on the entire album, I really enjoyed this song, although she isn't the best singer in the world. Both the delivery of the lyrics and the melody are standout and enjoyable. I feel like Rihanna is at her best on this song. If Rihanna released an album full of songs like these. It'd probably be one of my favorite albums ever. The lyrics are great and just fits Rihanna so well. The backing vocals during the hook at the right touch. The hook was fantastic as well.
'Higher' my 2nd favorite song on the album, I also found to be really enjoyable as well. I Love the violin in the background that plays as Rihanna belts out her vocals. It feels like a broken hearted old west saloon ballad. Very nice.
In fact tracks 9-12 were a great run. The best on succession of tracks on the album.
'Close to you' was meh. It didn't impact me in any sort of way, I like the brooding piano, but Rihanna doesn't do anything for me on that song, I feel like there are better singers who do those types of songs.
Goodnight Gotham is just an outro and didn't phase me one bit.
Pose was a fun song, but not my cup of tea.
Sex with me was pretty good, it has some of my favorite lyrics on the entire album especially "hit the switch on a nigga like a station" Beat is solid too. Not a bad way to end the album.
If this album was shaved down to 8 or 9 tracks it would have been a really good release for me, but instead it's just ok for me. Not bad, but I won't be revisiting this album anytime soon. I'll take away a few cuts from (My favorites being "Love on the Brain", "Higher", "James Joint", "Work" & "Never Ending") this project and discard the rest. Rihanna has always been hit or miss with me, and this is slightly more in the hit category than the miss category. The only song I really didn't enjoy was the one with Travis $cott, everything else was just forgettable to me or just didn't phase me enough to care. I find the songs where Rihanna is being really raw and in your face with the lyrics and melody is where she shines the most (songs like, 'Love on the Brain' and 'Kiss it Better' to name a couple). Overall ok project, but it's not a must listen to album or anything like that.