Saturday night the singer dropped a new song on iTunes, titled "FourFiveSeconds," which she co-created with Paul McCartney. West had issued his own out-of-nowhere mind-meld with the ex-Beatle on New Year's Eve, titled "Only One."
In case anyone missed the connection, the rapper also sings on RiRi's song.
Much like "Only One," "FourFiveSeconds" couldn't be more stripped down. It's an acoustic track, stressing unplugged guitar in the same way Kanye's song did soft piano chords. The Rihanna-fronted single has a lot more melodic ease and appeal than Kanye's mewling cut. It's a catchy pop ditty, featuring an earnest and loose vocal from the star. Vocally, Ri comes off much better than Kanye, who could have used more auto-tune to firm his unsteady vocals.
Then again, casual seems to be the desired mood here. The lyrics express emotions ranging from the flip to the resigned. "Might get a little drunk/I say what's on my mind/I might do a little time," Ri sings, "cause all my kindness/is taken for weakness."
It's refreshing to hear Rihanna sing with so little affect, in a setting that's much less processed than most of her recordings.
The star had hinted for some time that a new album, her eighth, would be forthcoming early this year. West also plans to put out a full new work in the coming months. Who knows? Maybe they'll coordinate those releases as well — with a little help from their Fab Four friend.