Newest Review: ... Points* It's the ideal Rihanna album. By this point, you'll know whether or not Rihanna's for you, so you've got no reason ... more
Rihanna says, "I Feel Pretty,Oh, so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright!"
Loud - Rihanna
Member Name: Chloboshoka
Loud - Rihanna
Advantages: Very unforgettable and likeable because the tracks are fun and it includes the humorous Nicki Minaj.
Disadvantages: I don't like What's My Name or Only Girl In The World because they irritate me.
I will be reviewing the standard edition that includes eleven tracks. Rihanna isn't one of my favourite singers out there, but she's quite an interesting character. Her popularity has risen in recent years for pop songs suited to dance for clubs and parties. Born and raised in Barbados, she adds a lot of reggae elements in her songs that would make me think of those tropical places with fancy beaches such as Barbados. She's listed major influences from Mariah Carey, Madonna, Beyoncé Knowles and Bob Marley. Her fifth album, Loud offers RnB oriented club songs with pop and Caribbean influences much more obvious then it's predecessors' Music Of The Sun, A Girl Like Me, Good Girl Gone Bad and Rated R.
During the era of her previous album, Rated R she suffered from an unfortunate case of domestic abuse from her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown. A lot of people marked Rated R as her most darkest album to date. A huge contrast to Loud as a lot of the songs contain themes of sex and happiness.
What I quite like about Rihanna's voice and what I think makes her stand out from the crowd is the deep shaky tone in her voice. Sometimes she can sound quite ranty and silly like in Rude Boy and Umbrella. When she puts the effort in it, she can make some beautiful songs such as Unfaithful and Russian Roulette. The vibrant shade of red on her hair has also helped her stand out. It's quite easy to forget that she was only 22 at the time she was released. It's not ridiculously high-pitched. However, I sometimes find that she doesn't always put a lot of effort in the singing and can sound more like shouting, but she's quite a good dancer. In some live performances it's usually her appearance that's the most eye-catching. I think she needs to balance the vocals and the appearance out. Once she's done that, I think she'll be fine.
What I quite like about this album is how obvious it is to see how jolly Rihanna is. She certainly had a more uplifting year in 2010 following the success with her collaboration with a hip hop ballad from Eminem called Love The Way You Lie. The majority of the songs are pretty good and quite fun to listen to. She's often criticized for skimpy outfits and caused an outrage on the X Factor Finals for wearing what looked like a retro bikini. Like everything that causes controversy in X Factor, they all got over it and moved on.
The design and inlay content is really nice. There a lot of hues of red and pink. There are some really stunning photographs and graphics on there. My favourite is the page with Rihanna laying with her eyes closed with the flowers. The one I found most striking was a slick photograph of her naked lower body with a white flower covering her private bits like a secret garden.
The lyrics on the album are as feisty as the one who sings them. This is defiantly the case for the opening track, S&M. One of my favourite tracks on the album because Rihanna sounds very excited. It doesn't show her vocals at her strongest point, but it shows what she can do. The lyrics are a stand-out on here and awfully catchy. To me it sounds like a modern adoption to Michael Jackson's classic song, Bad. Very direct and I can hear that Rihanna feels very sensual.
"Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it.
Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it.
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But chains and whips excite me."
- Chorus from S&M.
One track that surprised me was the third track named "Cheers (Drink To That)" I knew straight from the title that it was going to be another club banger and I had a feeling I was going to dislike it, but to my surprise I quite liked it. It includes distinctive backing vocals from Avril Lavigne, though they sound like they were copied and pasted from Avril's song I'm With You. Everyone can relate to this song and Rihanna
I personally think some of the single choices were quite poor, but I think the reason they sold quite well is because Rihanna is one of those artists who could sing about toilet paper and it chart at a respectable place. The lead single, Only Girl (In The World) is a rather silly track and I think the lyrics are rather distasteful at times, though verse 2 is rather sweet. It suffers from a lack of consistency but I can see why some other people like it, it's just not for me. I think others would find it really catchy and enjoyable for it's club oriented style.
"I want you to love me, like I'm a hot pie.
Keep thinkin' of me, doin' what you like.
So boy forget about the world cuz it's gon' be me and you tonight.
I wanna make your bed for ya, then imma make you swallow your pride."
- Verse one of The Only Girl (In The World)
Another disappointment for me was the second track, What's My Name?. It includes an awkward rapping from Drake who sounds quite weak here. Rihanna sounds all over the place and overall, I think it's quite a mess.
"I heard you good with them soft lips
Yeah you know word of mouth
The square root of 69 is 8 something."
Drake's rapping and wording is rather odd here.
Another interesting track is Man Down. It reminded me of one of Queen's song being given a major reconstruction in rumba style. I liked the lyrics in the song and found it quite catchy. If you liked Rude Boy, I think you'll love this. Rihanna shows a lot of different sides to her vocal range here.
"Oh mama mama mama I just shot a man down.
In central station, in front of a big ol crowd.
Oh Why Oh Why Oh mama mama mama I just shot a man down.
In central station."
- Chorus to Man Down.
The album closes with a sequel to Eminem's hit, Love The Way You Lie (Part II). It is much different and stand outs from the rest of the tracks as it's much more serious and more powerful. The lyrics are very solid and have much more value than the rest of the tracks. Rihanna shows the beautiful side of her vocals. I participially love how Eminem is included in the song because I think it makes the track sound much more authentic.
"you hit me twice, yeah, but who's countin'?
I may have hit you three times, I'm startin' to lose count
but together, we'll live forever, we found the youth fountain."
- A section of Eminem's part to Love The Way You Lie Part II
I would recommend this to my friends because this is the style of music that appeal to them the most. My best friend loves dancing and can relate to a lot of tracks on this album. I don't think this is the best album from Rihanna, but it's more of a taster album to keep her fans happy. Minus What's My Name and The Only Girl In The World, I enjoyed the album. I would listen to it again, but not as a whole. I would skip straight to S&M, California King Bed, Cheers and Love The Way You Lie. All of the songs that haven't been released as a single have potential to be a solid single. S&M was announced as a new single, which I'm quite pleased about because I think the music video to it would be quite interesting. I also hope the interesting ballad California King Bed gets released as a single.
One way I think the album could have been improved was by taking more time with it. Her activity in her career is great and the ability to release hit albums a year apart is a marvellous trait to have but the quality of the production is sacrificed. I think that would have made the consistency and variety a lot more better.
1. S&M - "Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me." 5/5
2. What's My Name (featuring Drake) - "Oh na na na what's my name?" 0/5
3. Cheers (Drink to That) - "Cheers to the freaking weekend." 5/5
4. Fading - "Go on, be gone, bye bye so long." 3/5
5. Only Girl (In the World) - "Want you to make me feel that I'm the only girl in world." 1/5
6. California King Bed - "In this California king bed we're ten thousand miles apart" 4/5
7. Man Down - "I didn't mean to end his life." 5/5
8. Raining Men (featuring Nicki Minaj) - "Ladies don't worry cause they got plenty more." 4/5
9. Complicated - "You're not so easy to love." 3/5
10. Skin - "Baby strip down for me, go on take em off." 3/5
11. Love the Way You Lie (Part II) (featuring Eminem) - "Even angels have their wicked schemes." 5/5
Summary: Rihanna happily skipped to the studio in 2010 to record a feisty album dedicated to the joy of sex.