Rihanna’s “James Joint”: Listen to the interlude from her next album.

Rihanna Channels Stevie Wonder in “James Joint,” a Lush New Taste of Her Next Album

Rihanna Channels Stevie Wonder in “James Joint,” a Lush New Taste of Her Next Album

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Slate's Culture Blog
April 22 2015 10:52 AM

Rihanna Releases “James Joint,” a Lush New Taste of Her Next Album

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Rihanna's plans for a “timeless” album continue to develop.

Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon Rihanna released another track off her forthcoming record. The interlude “James Joint” is just over a minute long, but it gives us a better sense of the range of sounds we can expect from Rihanna’s eighth album. Lush keyboards play over rising bass riffs to create a thickly textured groove. It has elements of both late ’90s neo-soul and mid-career Stevie Wonder, especially when a harmonica enters near the end of the track. You can listen to the track here.

Rihanna has mentioned wanting her next album to be “timeless,” with songs that she can still perform 15 years from now. With the combination of “James Joint” and “FourFiveSeconds” (though maybe not “American Oxygen”), she’s on track to meet that goal.

Jay Deshpande is a former editor of WatchTime and writes about literature and the arts for Slate, the New Republic, and others. Follow him on Twitter.