Rihanna - Loud
Rihanna - Loud
She's ditched the self-pitying, destructive vibes and embraced her right to be loved. It seems the good girl gone bad has changed her ways with strong songs and a new outlook.
Rihanna's last offering, Rated R, was a terrible display of her talents and her emotional state. Still reeling from the Chris Brown episode, Rihanna was acting out as a result of her anger and sadness. The result was not at all appealing. So Riri had a lot to make up for with this album.
Loud is definitely an improvement. Rihanna's vocals are softer, sweeter and more relaxed, and she's having fun making music again. The album's variety – from electro influences to peaceful ballads – is a great vehicle for Rihanna to showcase her skill and work out some of those lingering emotional issues.
The first single "Only Girl (In The World)" is a sure-fire dancefloor filler, but more importantly it's a strong, girl-power anthem which serves her fangirls much better than the self-deprecating flop "Russian Roulette" from last year.
Riri's also made smart choices with her three collaborations on this album. Teaming up with GQ Man of The Year finalist Drake for "What's My Name" ensured her another radio hit. Elsewhere Rihanna hooks up with flavour-of-the-month Nicki Minaj on "Raining Men", which probably won't have the same radio success as her other collaborations, but it's cute nonetheless.
And then there's "Love The Way You Lie (Part II)". This version, unlike the radio cut, features Rihanna singing in the verses, although Eminem still makes his mark. It's a pretty reworking which reminds us that despite always trying to be bad-ass, Rihanna has a lovely, delicate voice to match her delicate heart.
While our pop princess has recovered from her boyfriend ordeal, it makes a brief appearance in "Cheers (Drink To That)", a funky track which features vocals sampled from Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You". Rihanna barks "Life's too short to be sitting around miserable / Don't let the bastards get you down!"
That's the way.
Other hot tracks include "Complicated" (not an Avril Lavigne cover) and "Fading", while the stinkers are "Man Down" and "Skin".
The album is unashamedly pop, but Toya's jazz background and classical training allow most of the songs to transcend the superficial genre offering a more layered and interesting sound. Read More »
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