Rihanna better be getting suitably compensated for being Tidal's guinea pig. The entangling of it and ANTI has been pretty disastrous for the project, consistently messing up its momentum. I say this as someone salty at having to wait to hear her new single, Work. Lord knows I'm not signing up to Tidalwave for it.
Being pushed as the first "real" release from the Diva's new LP, the cut sees her teaming up with dad dancer Drake, as well a producer [Kuk Harrell] of their previous smash collab', What’s My Name. Knowing both these things- pre hearing- had me sweating Rihanna had gone and done a 180 on the initial experimental nature of the project, and was now back chasing hits.
Thankfully, this hasn't actually transpired. Work isn't radio friendly, a safe bet or What's My Name pt.2. Inspired by her Island roots, the vocal is affected and almost indecipherable in parts with the Diva riding the groove in an almost hypnotic fashion. The production is also risky, not being a banger, a ballad or being particularly catchy. That doesn't mean it isn't a pleasure to listen to, as it builds warmth and body with warm chords and harmonies.
The truth is, how I feel about the song isn't discernible right now. In some ways it sounds like Rihanna's truest vocal to date, with her Marmite-like tone out in full force and her vocalising in a way that doesn't immediately sound like she's imitating anyone else [hear Diamonds]. The song's just so mellow that after a few spins, it's not left any real impression. I know I wouldn't skip it if it came on during an album play through, but the real question is: would I skip to it, given the choice? I'm not so sure....
[Will update with the video/song when it appears....ergh]