Rihanna has hinted that she'll release #R8, her eighth studio album this year, and buzz has surrounded the artist for months. Saturday night, she dropped the first song off that album. "FourFiveSeconds" is performed with Kanye West, who is also expected to release an album in 2015, alternating on lead and backing vocals and Paul McCartney playing the acoustic guitar. It's the second time McCartney and West have teamed up. Listen on iTunes.
"I think I've had enough/ Might get a little drunk/ I say what's on my mind/ I might do a little time," she sings to open the track, "Cause all of my kindness/ Is taken for weakness." It's more vulnerable than we've heard Rihanna since 2012's "Stay," and hints that her new album may contain more confessional slow jams like this one.
Rihanna's voice shows significant growth in range and tone since her last album, and the song carries a momentum that makes it feel both upbeat and nostalgic at the same time.
There's a twang to McCartney's guitar and rich emotion in Kanye and Rhianna's voices. I can't kick the image of the three of them sitting around a campfire at the end of summer singing this song.