After years of rampant speculation and false starts, Rihanna’s long-awaited eighth studio album ANTI is available now.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) January 28, 2016
Ri Ri’s eighth album was released by surprise Wednesday. It is currently available for streaming and purchase exclusively on TIDAL, while a deluxe version of the novelty featuring three bonus tracks will become available from Jan. 29.
As for Rihanna fans hoping to purchase the set, “downloads will be available exclusively on TIDAL via limited supply of complementary download codes provided as a gift from Rihanna and Samsung, each complementary download will come with a 60-day free trail of TIDAL,” the site said in a press release.
“Once all codes are used anyone will be able to purchase the album via the TIDAL download store.”
“Executive produced by Kanye West, the 13-track LP is Rihanna’s first album in three years, following 2012’s Unapologetic. The two featured artists listed are Drake, on the aforementioned “Work,” and R&B singer SZA, who appears on album opener “Consideration,” MTV writes.
“ANTI also includes a cover of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.” Interestingly, none of her prior singles from 2015, like “FourFiveSeconds,” “American Oxygen” and “Bitch Better Have My Money” made the final cut.”
The album reportedly leaked online earlier in the day, by the streaming service itself, causing speculation that the singer may have dropped the album early in order to get ahead of fans who were sharing the leak.
#ANTI is awake and now I'm awake
— Rowan Blanchard (@rowblanchard) January 28, 2016
The singer’s fans reacted immediately, taking to Twitter to express their impression of the new album.
This sound is very different for Rihanna.
Anti is like Rated Rs grown sister.
— Cunt (@MOSCHANEL) January 28, 2016
However, there’re those who criticised the R’n’B queen for her new music:
— Ju (@baianna_navy) January 28, 2016
Rihanna released some teasers for ANTI a few months ago revealing the album art and title during a gallery show in Los Angeles. Designed by Roy Nachum, the cover features a photo of the singer as a baby set against a red and white background.
Back in November, Rihanna launched a website, AntiDiary.com, with Samsung, to prepare for its release.
That same month, she announced her plans for a great worldwide tour, which starts Feb. 26 in San Diego. Backed by The Weeknd, Big Sean, and Travis Scott, news of the tour heightened suspicions that an Anti arrival was imminent around the Thanksgiving holiday – but that hope was dashed when no new music materialized.
The album was also teased via multiple magazine interviews with Rihanna. Miranda July, who interviewed Rihanna for T: New York Times Style Magazine, wrote, “Almost every night, when you’re asleep, Rihanna is in the studio.”
Lisa Robinson echoed the sentiment in Vanity Fair: “As we spoke, she was still working on [Anti].” Rihanna’s mentor Jay Z told Robinson the singer was waiting to release it because “she wants it to be perfect.”