Can Rihanna sing better than Adele and who will garner more success with their latest albums? The release of the pop icon's eighth album, "Anti," has fans in a frenzy. But not everyone can listen.
R&B superstar Rihanna has been hyping her eighth album, "Anti," for months on social media without revealing a release date. The mystery was solved in the night to Thursday (28.01.2016) when she published the first single from the album - "Work," featuring rapper Drake - just hours later the full disc was revealed.
For now, "Anti" is hard to come by for some. It's available via the entirely musician-owned streaming service Tidal, which was founded by rapper Jay Z last March and in which Rihanna is a partner.
Rihanna has also signed a deal with Samsung, which has set up an interactive website for "Anti" on its smartphones. The contract, which is also meant to give Tidal a boost, is reported to be valued at $25 million.
Samsung users are able to download "Anti" and receive a free two-month trial of Tidal. While the Samsung users among her fans rejoiced with emotional responses over Twitter, the Apple users among them will have to resort to other means of listening to the fresh tracks.
Rihanna, known for touching on S&M and domestic violence in her songs, picks up on a familiar theme in "Work": the feeling of being taken advantage of in a relationship. In addition to partnering with rapper Drake for that initial single, the track "Consider" features SZA, a female R&B singer who has just started coming into the limelight.
Will Rihanna give British soul singer Adele a run for her money for record sales? With "25," Adele broke first-week sales records back in November.
Though the two singers couldn't be more different, fans of Rihanna took the opportunity to show support:
Expectations, however, are also high for other top female singers, including Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Beyonce.
With her album as yet unavailable for purchase, it's not yet clear how Rihanna will fair on the album charts - still an important marker of success in the industry.
The pop diva has already announced a global "Anti" tour, set to launch in San Diego, California, on February 26.
kbm/rb (AFP, dpa)