Print Edition: November 28, 2012
After Rihanna bestowed the riches of Loud upon us, I doubted she could get any louder. Then she gave us Talk That Talk. Now, sultry Barbados queen Robyn Rihanna Fenty has released Unapologetic, her seventh album in seven years and best believe it is louder and more lecherous.
Music and words are a double act; it is almost like a cruel joke. I find that if you listen to a song intently, you begin to believe that the words are saying something to you, like the lyrics were crafted purely for you. Risqué Rihanna however, seems to be telling the whole world one thing; whatever she does “ain’t nobody’s business.”
Unapologetic comprises a mixture of genres, and kicks off with “Fresh out the Runaway,” a hard-hitting club song which introduces us to the confident Rihanna we’ve come to love. With the heavy bass beat, Rihanna tells us that she’s “rolling like rock stars” and that her “jewels is diamond.” The second song on the album “Diamonds,” does not sound like something Rihanna would sing. For whatever odd reason, I identify the song with Evanescence. Yet “Diamonds” is a personal favourite – it is a beautiful song with inspiring lyrics.
Her third song “Numb” features Eminem, and even though it is a club mix and not an emotional song like their previous hit “Love the Way You Lie,” anything with Eminem is perfection. “Pour It Up,” the next track on her album, a club song produced by “Mike Will Made It” does not exactly say a lot in the two minutes and 42 seconds that she uses to talk about “dollar signs” “strippers” and balling out. The fifth track, “Loveeeee song” is an R&B song which features rapper and auto-tune god, Future and all they need is “love and affection.” If “Rude Boy,” “S&M” and “Birthday Cake” haven’t proven to the world that Rihanna is really a good girl gone bad (who has no intention of going good again) then “Jump,” the sixth song, is sure to do that; it’s a raunchy dub step mix that bids us to jump in her saddle and ride her pony. Alright RihRih.
“Right Now,” the seventh song on her album, is a club and techno mix featuring David Guetta which proposes living in the moment. The eighth track on her album, “What Now” is another personal favourite. It introduces us to vulnerable Miss Fenty. Rihanna belts out a beautiful ballad about being confused and in love. We get more of her vulnerable side in her ninth song, “Stay,” featuring Mikky Eko. This wonderful ballad slows things down and has Miss Rih talking about being in a relationship and wanting the object of her affection to stay even though she’s not “really sure how to feel about it.”
Tenth on the album is “Nobody’s Business” featuring ex-boyfriend Chris Brown; it’s a disco pop song that samples Michael Jackson’s “The way you make me feel.” Although many critics have zoomed in on the fact that Rihanna chooses to feature ex-boyfriend CB who abused her on a track, I just want to point out that it really is “nobody’s business” what the singer chooses to do.
“Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary” comes right after the Rihanna and Chris Brown duet, in spite of its mid-tempo beat and melodious mixture of strings, it is hard not to associate it with her relationship with Chris Brown. It is a personal song that takes things down a notch once again. “Get It Over With,” the 12th song on her album, is a laid-back song that anyone can unwind to. If you’re wondering what happened to reggae Rihanna, wonder no more. The 13th track on her album, “No Love Allowed” is a feel-good reggae song that is similar to “Man Down” from her 2010 album Loud. Rihanna brings things to an end with a chilled-out song titled “Lost In Paradise” which is what you will be after listening to Rihanna’s seventh album. Although some songs might require more than one listen to be appreciated, one thing is certain; Barbados hot tamale Rihanna is amazing and always will be.