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1. Madhouse - Not going to review this song because it's more of just a album intro. It is very dark and like something you would hear on scary movie. It perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album. Welcoming everyone to the album, 'welcome to the Madhouse' over a dark, grime, Chase n Status produced dubstep beat.
2. Wait Your Turn - This song and video was used as promotion to hype Rihanna's new album and website. As the countdown was ticking on her site, it was finally the day for Rihanna to proclaim 'The Wait is over' RiRi's accent is very thick throughout the song. A fun, catchy, reggae/dubstep type of song.
3. Hard - VERY catchy urban track, Rihanna basically raps throughout this entire song, it also features a rap from Young Jeezy. In it Rihanna is basically letting everyone know... she doesn't care what the haters have to say, she's just doing her. If you ever need a pick me up listen to this song. You'll soon be walking round grabbing your crotch and tellin everyone how hard you are hahaha okay mabe not!
4. Stupid In Love - Solid emotional ballad. I think alot of people can relate to this song. Very good song. Would fit perfectly on radio.
5. Rockstar 101 - Slash and his guitar feature on this track. Not a bad song but I do feel Slash could have been better utilised on the song. You don't really hear that much guitar, more computer generated noise. Still good, fun song. Full of swagger.
6. Russian Roulette - This song gets to me everytime... From it's eery feeling. It is so deep, and dark and somewhat depressing. But it allows you into Rihanna's mind atleast for 3-4mins. You feel every word, you feel her pain and anquish. The lyrics and the actual piece of music compliment eachother so well. You almost feel yourself breathing differently with this (atleast I do) This song touches me in so many ways.
7. Fire Bomb - One of my favorites on the entire album. Rihanna uses her lower register almost this entire song. Singing beautifully and metaphorically about wanting someone to hurt as much as she was hurting.
8. Rude Boy - THIS is the fun sound Rihanna is mainly known for.... it's upbeat, extremely catchy and VERY cheeky ;) Riri challenges a guy to 'Come here Rude Boy, can you get it up. Come here Rude boy is you big enough' Over the Carribean, dancehall inspired beat. Possibly talking about her not so serious 'relations' after Chris Brown.
9. Photographs - Mid tempo ballad Featuring B.E.P star Will.I.Am. Probably my least favorite on the album. In no way a bad song, I just find it quite generic and weak compared to others on the album. Very radio friendly though. I'm personally just not a fan of Will.I.Am.
10. G4L - Very dark, urban influenced track, quite explicit too. Rihanna goes full on 'Gangsta' on this track. Proclaiming 'We got ours guns, got our guns, got our guns in the motherf*cking air'. Great album track, nothing you would hear on the radio. Quite empowering in a weird sort of way.
11. Te Amo - Mid tempo pop song where she sings about a girl that liked her, and she doesn't really like her back. She doesn't want a relationship with her, and she doesn't want to hurt her, by telling her how she really feels. Cute European sounding pop song.
12. Cold Case Love - Very long heartfelt, emotional ballad co-written with Justin Timberlake. One of my absolute favorites, You feel every word Rihanna sings in this song. It makes you take a step back and think about every lyric spoken. Very slow build up over a piano then hits a huge finale. Almost Phil Collins 'In the air' esque with it's big drums accompanied by Justin beatboxing over the top.
13. The Last Song - Self Titled Track. An Emotional, goodbye ballad. Some fantastic vocals. you hear the pain in her voice with every word. She mentioned after making this album that she cried during recording of many of these songs, you truly feel that in this song. Almost makes me cry everythime. The electric guitar just adds so much to this song. Great way to end the album.
I still get goosebumps listening to this album to this day. Nearly 3 years on and another 2 albums later and it's still my favorite album. You know an album is good when it takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It has the ability to make you cry, smile, wanna party, empowered. GIRL POWER!!! But also an album that males wouldn't feel like a total girl listening too either.
Rated R won't go down in history as Rihanna's best selling album. Instead it's a necessary album, an album that she had to make. It's a unique look into a troubled girls world. A breath of fresh air compared to the usual autotuned, generic, overproduced rubbish to come from these factory made 'popstars' It's a refreshing change to hear raw, stripped back vocals complimented by beautiful sounds coming from real instruments apposed to some computer. For me personally.... will go down as Rihanna's greatest album which will take something really special to beat. I feel for everything Robyn had to go through in her very troublesome relationship with Chris Brown and very public abuse and breakup. Without these learning experiences I very much doubt us fans would have been treated to this as close to perfect as perfect can be masterpiece of an album though. Best pop album in YEARS!!! So good I bought it 3 times lol (Clean, Explicit, Digital).
Bottom line... If you're expecting happy go lucky Rihanna or this album to sound anything like her previous three albums then you're likely to be disappointed with this album. This album sounds alot different to her other albums, it has a very dark, deep tone.
I wouldn't recommend this album to kids or at least not the explicit version of this album as it does contain some bad language.
This album represents the total 'break up' album it covers a lot of different emotions including: sadness, loneliness, resentment, anger, revenge and the ultimate rebellious phase. I love that this album tells an actual story and takes you on complete journey of emotions (good and bad) this isn't just a bunch of songs thrown together in a random order. Everything flows so well and makes a near perfect album.
I have always liked Rihanna's music and especially since being lucky enough to see her live at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Bangor earlier this year. She was absolutely amazing singing live and after I'd seen her I bought her album. I got it off eBay so it was cheaper, I think it cost me about £4 or £5 which I think is reasonable for such a brilliant album.
The genres that this album falls under are pop and dance pop.
The tracks on the album go as follows:
1. Mad House
2. Wait Your Turn
3. Hard featuring Young Jeezy
4. Stupid In Love
5. ROCKSTAR 101 featuring Slash
6. Russian Roulette
7. Fire Bomb
8. Rude Boy
9. Photographs featuring will.i.am
11. Te Amo
12. Cold Case Love
13. The Last Song
In this album Rihanna is a bit darker than she was in previous albums, if you've seen the music videos to songs such as Russian Roulette, and then you compare this to her earlier music videos such as Umbrella for example, then you'll know what I mean. However she does have some much more happy, sort of upbeat kind of songs on this album as well, such as my favourite Hard, and also Rude Boy.
The lyrics in most of the songs on this album are explicit, and not really suitable for children to listen to. I have taken one star off this album as I don't think the lyrics are the best, but the tunes are always great.
I think this album is definitely at a really high standard, I don't think anyone could disagree since it even features Slash! It also features Young Jeezy, who I have never heard of before, and Will.I.Am who I really dislike, and he is partly the reason why this album loses one star. I think he ruins the song he is in so I always skip past that one.
Overall I liked this album and would recommend it to all Rihanna's fans as I think it is one of her best albums.
I have loved Rihanna ever since the early days when her single's such as 'Pon de Replay' and S.O.S graced my teenage CD collection. There are always certain artists who's next album you look forward to and I have bought all of Rihanna's albums to date. This has also enabled me to compare how her music has changed over the years and this album 'Rated R' definitely has a much darker, slightly rockier feel than her earlier catchy pop tunes.
So who is Rihanna?
Rihanna is originally from Barbados, a nationality that was quite apparent in her earlier work as her voice had a very distinct lilt, however now you would be forgiven for thinking that she was American as she appears to have lost much of this accent. The singer is only 22 years old but has released 4 UK albums and countless singles as well as collaborating with major artists such as T.I, Will.I.Am and Eminem. Rihanna's music has a R&B feel, verging on a rockier edge with many of her more recent songs.
This album was released in 2009 and is Rihanna's fourth UK album.
1) Mad House
2) Wait your Turn
4)Stupid in Love
5) Rockstar 101
6) Russian Roulette
7) Fire Bomb
8) Rude Boy
12) Cold Case Love
13) The Last Song
I played this album over and over again in the last term of university and so a lot of the songs bring back some good memories. My favourite has to be Rude Boy as it has a really catchy beat and is just a bit cheeky. Don't listen too hard to the lyrics if you blush easily but this song will be in your head for hours after hearing it. It's the sort of song that gets everyone dancing and no wonder Rihanna decided to release it as it shows her naughty side.
In complete contrast to this, I also love the slow ballad 'Te Amo'. As the title would suggest this song has a Spanish feel to the music and the lyrics are quite deep as Rihanna describes a Lesbian relationship. Yet again a catchy tune, I really like the fact that this album combines both fast and slower songs which are equally as good.
The lyrics and general feeling behind this album are really quite dark in places as shown by 'Russian Roulette' with its gun sound effects and lyrics such as 'but it's too late to think of the value of my life' revealing a sinister feeling.
It's not all doom and gloom however and Rihanna also shows her fiesty side with 'Hard' telling her fans that she is 'tougher than a lion' perhaps in reference to events in her personal life. This fiesty feminist view is my favourite side of Rihanna as she seems determined to prove to her critics that she is strong and doesn't care what people think.
I have always loved Rihanna's collaborations with male artists and am a big fan of her recent single with Eminem 'Love the way you lie'. for this reason, 'Photographs', featuring Will.I.Am, is another of my favourites on this album. The contrast between Rihanna's sultry voice and the Black Eyed Peas singers rapping style makes nice listening and is a chilled out song compared to some of the aggressive tones of her other tracks.
I am a big fan of this album and so it's quite hard to pick fault with it, however I would have to say that my least favourite song is 'The Last Song' which is 'ironically' the last track of the album. There's nothing really wrong with this song, I just find it a bit slow and depressing for my liking, with Rihanna sounding completely in despair throughout. Compared to the lively beat of Rudeboi and Hard this is a bit of a boring end to the album.
The majority of the songs on this album are potential hits and so it's no surprise that Rihanna has released 4 songs already. It's a great album to play at home or in the background when entertaining guests and really has something for everyone to enjoy.
Price: Just £4.00 from Amazon
The once "innocent" Rihanna, sang songs such as "umbrella", between the release of her newest album, "Rated R" and her previous album "Good Girl Gone Bad", Rihanna has undergone a huge change, both in her music style and her fashion tastes.
This new Rihanna is loved by some, and hated by others. Personally I think that Rihanna's new approach to music is fantastic, although risky, I believe that Rated R achieves everything that a music lover could possibly want to hear.
Before I purchased this album, I was not a fan at all of Rihanna, I thought of her as "cheesy" and "annoying", after my friend had persuaded me to give her new album a try, I decided to purchase it. Once I purchased this album, i listened to it on loop for days on end, and I can conclude that I simply don't get bored of this album! As well as having a number of different style songs, some of which you can sing along to, some of which are just simply nice to listen to, I thought this album was reasonably priced compared to some other albums.
Rihanna's latest release from this album is "Te amo", some other catchy songs from the album are "photograph" and "wait your turn", if you have never heard of these songs, have a listen to them online and then if you like them, go ahead and purchase this album!
If you are a fan if the old school "cheesy" songs, then I wouldn't recommend this album to you, also, if you like slow songs or ballads, this album does have a few on it but it most probably won't suit your tastes!
Personally I love Rihanna's work and I think Rated R is just the start of what Rihanna is going to be :)!
Hope i helped.
I really llike Rihanna, and her last album 'Good Girl Gone Bad' was probably the one i most played last year. So i was really excited for the release of this album.... but unfortunately, it didnt really live up to my expectations.
Her first album seemed to throw out amazing track after amazing track - and no matter how many singles she released off it, i never tired of listening to them. This album, no matter how many times i listen to it - i struggle ti find very many that would even be single worthy!
Rated R was released in Nov 2009, and i pre-ordered it because i was that excited, so i have listened to it a tons of times - but its just not got what her last album had.
Theres 13 songs on the album, and the first single released was the very popular Russian Roulette - which did peak at no1 one on the UK charts. The second single 'Hard' peaked at a pitiful no 42. Whilst the third single 'Rude Boy' peaked at no 6 in the charts. These are positions which pale in comparison to the smash hits churned out by Good Girl Gone Bad.
Dont get me wrong - there are a few tracks on the album that i really like (Russian Roulette included), and these are tracks 2, 4 and 9. Ive included a track list below: -
1. Mad House.
2. Wait your turn.
4. Stupid in love.
5. Rockstar 101.
6. Russian Roulette.
7. Fire Bomb.
8. Rude Boy.
11. Te Amo.
12. Cold case love.
13. The last song.
The album is relatively cheap, and has been since its release. You can pick it up online for about £7 - but personally, i would advise to listen to the tracks on you tube or i-tunes before you buy the album and maybe pick and choose your tracks rather than buying the whole album. That way - you get the best of both worlds.... the decent songs without the expense of a generally pitiful album!
An amazing album. I never really took to her other albums but this one is a real change. A lots darker that her pretty girl image. Starting with a dub-step introduction leading to a whole chain of catchy songs. My favorite is "G4L" closely followed by "Rock star" and 'Hard". The album is a little heavy if you listen to it all the way through and she does seem to be referring to her recent brake up with Chris Brown (or maybe this is just my interpretation). The photos in the album booklet are not her previous style at all. They are black and white and of a sexual nature. I think this is so worth listening too and is think the beginning of the new Rihanna. The songs themselves are R&B songs but with a more dub-step off beat and broken back beat which makes them so catchy to listen to (and to dance too). Every time I tire of one song I grow to like another one more.
It's been a while since I've brought an album, but i've purchased this recently, as I've heard a couple of Rihanna's song and have become addicted.
1. Mad House
2. Wait Your Turn
4. Stupid In Love
5. Rock Star 101
6. Russian Roulette
7. Fire Bomb
8. Rude Boy
11. Te Amo
12. Cold Case Love
13. The Last Song
It is very evident that Rihanna is trying to bring out her harder side, some say it's due to her recent troubles. This is clearly an album which links relationships with troubles and even at times violence. Most of her current videos involve guns, flashes of light, hard core make up and a Rihanna who seems to come across very edgy.
For me the best songs are Hard and Rude Boy, it has that dance tune as well as catchy lyrics to make them a huge hits worldwide.
Least liked Fire Bomb and Rockstar 101, you can see she's trying to experiment with these songs, into the Rock Genre. But I don't think it fits her image and her style of singing.
Overall I love this album as it's def a party album, it's a must have!
Initially I was not a fan of Rihanna, but her last album Good Girl Gone Bad turned me into a fan and for me she was up there with Beyonce. Of course she doesnt have Beyonce's voice but had her own unique style. I am glad to see that Rihanna has returned here with another strong album, although in my opinion not quite as good as her last outing, but still worth shouting about.
Clearly this is a lot more emotional heavier album than the last, which is a good thing, and she has used the Chris Brown situation to her advantage and made a lot of hate fueled tunes, mixed in with usual ballads and love songs. Even the cover of the album is well done and you can see it on this screen, with the body covered up, and hiding the right side of her face, and in black and white, she wants people to look at the cover, and remember what her face looked like after it was beaten up, and hence buy the album. Its an obvious thing to do and it works.
I was not really a fan of the first single to be released, Russian Roullete, its clear lyrically what it is about, but it just didnt have that Rihanna vibe that I loved from the last album, however after recently hearing Rude Boy, I know that Rihanna was back so promptly bought this album and it was a great purchase like I mentioned above. Other highlights for me include Stupid In Love, which again goes on about the Chris Brown situation, saying about how stupid it was etc etc. I guess thats the one negative thing I can say about this album is that they used the Chris Brown bandwagon a bit too much. Other songs like Cold Case Love take this story even further, but I can appreciate good sonds, and she has many of those here.
Photograph is the track that really stood out for me, and again Will.I.Am works his usual magic and this is the catchiest track for me. Even Will.I.Am's part is pretty cool, however all the songs he produces do sound pretty similar, but there's no need to go into this topic here.
What I liked in this album is that Rihanna and her record label were willing to try new stuff and there are lots of Rock tunes here like the aptly named Rockstar 101 and one of my favourites Fire Bomb. If you are into your rock and want to hear a hip female voice pulling her vocals over the tracks then definitely check these two tracks out.
Overall I do think this is a great album, with no real weak tracks here, however I do wish their were more tracks, as 13 doesnt seem enough to satisfy my appetite, but I guess it is better to have 13 very good tracks, then just an average album of 20 tracks. Rihanna definitely looks like she is here to stay. 4 stars.
It has been ages since I have reviewed a music album but it has been a while since I found a full album worthy of writing about. I have been a fan of Rihanna ever since she released Pon-de-Replay, even though it was more of a dancehall sound to it which she has moved on completely from now. Rihanna is now 21 and this is her fourth album but her sound has definitely grown up more, she is fully r'n'b now with a harder sound but is getting more talented with each album and I would definitely say this is her best so far which shocked me.
Rihanna hales from Barbados, she moved to the US to progress on her music career and find success. In 2005 she released her first album Music of the Sun which did well in the Billboard chart in America and her song Pon de Replay got her noticed. She then released her second album A Girl Like Me in 2006 which again succeeded and gave us the likes of SOS and Unfaithful which was a good album but was still with only a few songs I really liked.
She then went onto huge success with Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007 which had Umbrella on it which definitely made everyone aware of her by the release of this song. This album had Take A Bow and Disturbia on it and was a great album with many hits on it which then followed on to a re-release of a Good Girl Gone Bad Remixes album which I did actually like too.
Now, in 2009 at the end of it she released Rated-R, we hadn't had an album from her since her huge break from r'n'b star Chris Brown and their domestic violence case. I feel a lot of this album is about him and her struggle to get confidence back and fight to not let anyone make her feel like this again.
The first release of Rated - R was Russian Roulette which got to number 1 and was completely different for her. It has a very slow, almost pop feel to it. The vocals on this probably show Rihanna at her best in terms of singing as she does sometimes have songs which focus a lot on the music. I don't know if this would have been my first single choice for the album but I think she wanted to show people she could really sing and the whole concept of the song is well written.
There are a few songs from this album I don't like but overall it's more success than not. Russian Roulette for a ballad will have you singing along in no time, it is a powerful vocal that sticks in the mind. My next favourite song on the album is Photographs which I hope she releases, it is her collaboration with Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas who has also been working closely with a lot of artists e.g. Cheryl Cole. This song is again quite a slow one but it is a nice guitar melody to begin with and Rihanna's voice sounds really soft but strong here and it creates a lot of emotion. The song builds up towards the end but it is about looking back on a relationship of what could have been and just having the photographs left. It is a really strong collaboration, and I hope it is released in the future as I think it is one of the better songs of the album.
A song which I have heard a lot of the r'n'b Dj's playing is Rude Boy. This is quite a pop, catchy song but again it is upbeat and happy and different for Rihanna. It isn't the best song vocally but it will definitely stand out when listening to the full album. Her voice does sound annoying at time but I like the chorus here and feel it really makes the song and again could be another possible happy single choice.
I am not reviewing the songs in any order but it starts with an intro called Mad House which a lot of artists seem to do these days. It creates quite an eerie feeling to the album like entering a house of horrors. It is a creative intro and is a build up to the album starting which works quite well and I like the sinister sound to it. It then brings us into the first song of the album Wait Your Turn. This is another song I quite like; it is more laid back but has a good rhythm to it which makes it another stand out song. Her voice is not the strongest her, she sounds more like she used to sound in her dancehall days in this song, as her singing style isn't typical but more broken up.
Hard is one of my favourite songs as well as being her next single, teaming up with Jeezy on this one she has a very strong r'n'b song here. It is a very powerful, quite rough sounding song for her as well as the hard vocals of Jeezy rapping at the end. This is catchy and fast moving, and will have anyone singing along as soon as they hear it. I liked this song instantly, it is one of the stand out tracks and a great sing a long chorus, proving that Rihanna is back on track and ready to get on without letting anyone hold her back, maybe a song to show Chris Brown he didn't break her confidence.
A few other songs are G4L which is ok, it is quite digital sounding, and is different again for her and has another quite tough sound to it. It is about being strong again and although it is good, it is not a song I play often.
Songs like Te Amo, are quite laid back and relaxing but I don't listen to them a lot unless playing the whole album through. They are good but just filling tracks that don't show Rihanna to her best talent. Cold Case Love is a nice ballad near the end which finishes of the album with her vocals being strong to quite a quiet backing track.
All in all, this album is really good, it shows Rihanna is improving with every album and really experimenting with different sounds. I think she has a long career ahead of her and at such a young age she has a great fan base who will follow her. The album is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon for £7.98.
Over the last couple of years, I have become quite a fan of Rihanna's. I used to like her music , but wasn't really that fussed on her , but now I can honestly say that she is one of my favourite female artists , alongside , Leona Lewis and Beyonce.
For those of you who don't know ,Rihanna ; real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20th 1988 in Saint Michael , Barbados. She is currently twenty one years of age. She received her big break in 2003 at the age of fifteen when her friend saw music producer Evan Rogers on vacation in Barbados and introduced Rihanna to him. She made a demo and they sent it off to music producers in America , including Jay-z. Soon after she was signed to the record label she is still signed to today; Def Jam Recordings. Rihanna first gained fame when she burst onto the music scene in 2005 at the age of seventeen with her debut single 'Pon De Replay'. Rihanna has been compared to Beyonce , although I think that she has her own style. Rihanna was even once described as 'The Next Britney '. Rihanna just keeps better and better and has recognisably improved over the last couple of years.
As soon as I heard the debut single , Russian Roulette, from this album, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the CD.
Rated R is the fourth studio album from Rihanna ; released in the United Kingdom on November 20th 2009. There are thirteen tracks on the album. The length of the album is fifty one minutes. The album is slighty different to Rihanna's previous sound , and comes under the R&B , Pop, Hip Hop , Rock and Dubstep genres. This album is available to buy from Amazon for a price of £7.98. which I think is great value since it was only released a few weeks ago.
* Mad House *
I thought that this was a great introduction and I liked the way it was welcoming the listener to the album , with the lyrics 'come on , come on in'.
* Wait Your Turn *
I like the catchy beginning of 'The Wait is Over , The Wait Is Over......' although some people might find it's repetivness a bit too annoying , although once the chorus gets going , it turns into a beautiful track.
* Russian Roulette *
A beautiful ballad style of song ;it has a haunty feel to it , which just gives you the shivers. I absolutely love the chorus and Rihanna's vocals on this track are fantastic. I loved this song as soon as I heard it , and have had it on repeat ever since! I can't help singing along to this track.
* Stupid In Love *
Tbis is an interesting track, with some interesting lyrics ; perhaps sending out a message to her ex , Chris Brown.
Rihanna just gets better and better! This album definetely reveals a different side of Rihanna which we have never seen before.She's re-invented herself ;she's more serious , mature , with the album having quite a 'dark , cold , dramatic and angry theme to it'. The album is a lot edgier than her previous ones. I think that her 'new' sound is a lot better than her previous sound(s) as it's as though we are seeing the real artist , and not a 'manufactured pop princess' , which she was when she first burst on the pop scene back in 2005.
The songs on this album really show off Rihanna's vocals ; the one which stands out the most for me is Russian Roulette. I didn't realise that Rihanna such a powerful voice until now! She really shows that she can sing! I think that the songs on this album suit Rihanna more than her other songs have. Unlike her previous albums , there aren't as many 'dancy' tracks , although this is definetely not enough to put me off the album!
There are some great songs on this album ; all which tell a different story. As always , Rihanna gives 110% to each song , and you can tell that she took a lot of time perfecting each track. There are some thought provoking lyrics on this album ; some which I think are based on what has happened to her last year (for those of you who don't know , sadly , Rihanna was beat up by her then-boyfriend and fellow artist Chris Brown).
This CD isn't suitable for children as there is a lot of swear words and 'tough' talk on a lot of the songs , although there is a 'clean' version of the album available , although unless you're easily offended , or you're buying the clean version for children , then I wouldn't recommend it , due to the fact that because there is a lot of swearing on the songs , it would mean that there would be a lot of 'missing' words in songs , and so this would become quite anoying. For me anyway!
I would definetely recommend this album! Rihanna has improved sooo much! It's her best album yet!
Thanks For Reading!
January 5th 2009
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)
Rihanna has been increasing in popularity each year, wheather it be for her fashion, who she is dating, or indeed her music. Her last album "good girl gone bad" had fantastic reviews, with her turbulent relationship with singer Chris Brown she has been very much in the spotlight and this album could easily make or break her. She came out fighting, the new album has lost the european dance-pop sound the previous album had and has been replaced by modern pop-rock sounds. This type of music really suits Rihannah as a warrior, a fighter, a never say die attitude, and her expieriences in life and her rock chick fashion really shine through in the music. Track Four "Stupid in Love" is my favourite song on the album, it sums up everything that has happened to her this past year, her image has gone from pop princess to rock diva over the years good on her i say, The album reflects how she feels and all her emotion, which is what music is about, this girl is definitely a fighter.
After releasing the multi-platinum album Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007, Rihanna was another step closer to cementing her place in music history. Mostly admired for using great fashion designers, and known for who she was dating, Ms Fenty had to bring focus back to the music. A year after the last single from Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna released Rated R amidst talk of her attack by Chris Brown, leaked nude photos, and a 'buzz' single, Wait Your Turn, which failed to set the charts alight.
The album attempts to copy Good Girl Gone Bad by featuring sounds from a variety of genres, but they lack the predecessor's consistent spark. The guitar riffs on Fire Bomb are pointless. It could have been a nice mid-tempo, but the guitars bring a hardness that is not necessary. On the other hand, the Slash feature on Rockstar 101 should go down as a classic. Instead of including guitars because Rihanna claims to have fallen for rock music, they should have realised that they are mismatched with the soft violins, piano and lyrics they are with.
Te Amo is a lovely song with an island vibe, but it does not fit with the rest of the record. The hard, gritty, dark songs completely alienate Te Amo. The song was leaked months before we knew the album was coming, and it hit No1 in Brazil without promotion, video, performances, or any other signs of an official release, so the label saw the potential. Still, the song does not belong on this CD.
Tracks like The Last Song (could the title be any cheesier?) could have been sung by anybody, and the bland music does not help. Like Photographs, it drags on and on, going nowhere. They build up to nothing, unlike Cold Case Love which slowly adds hard drums and beat boxing to the quite drab beginning until it is something really special.
On the promotion campaign, Rihanna claimed that RR is such a personal album that she had to take months off from recording, due to feeling emotionally overwhelmed. Earlier this year (2009), her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown attacked her in their car. This situation is reflected in four songs: Stupid In Love, Russian Roulette, Photographs, and Cold Case Love. SIL's message about being smarter is mired by the silly lyrics e.g. 'I'm not stupid, I might be dumb but I'm not stupid'. Russian Roulette's controversial lyrics about 'pulling the trigger' during a dangerous game of love were the talk of the town. Rihanna's vocals have never been better than on this song, but, sadly, her average singing returns for the rest of the album. Photographs is about the end of a relationship when all you have left are countless photos of the good times. CCL is just about the dark side of being in love and, surprisingly, it is related to a crime scene. You could feel her pain, but for the rest of the songs...
The other side of the lyrics is as deep as a puddle. It was very confusing to hear her talk about recovering from a dangerous relationship that almost killed her, and then switch to singing about licking the trigger of a gun, surrounded by her gang. Completely contrasting with the four sensitive, vulnerable songs I mentioned in the previous paragraph, now she is suddenly the hardest 'gangsta' in the world on G4L (See: Gangsta 4 Life, Wait Your Turn, and Hard). Her ego inflates as she brags about the '27 million fans' she has. These songs would fit with the dark image she currently has, but then where did the young girl who's 'stupid in love' go?
Her voice is like marmite- you either love it or hate it. Personally I hate it, but when the music producers have finished working with her vocals, they are bearable most of time. As long as there is great music to distract us, all is good. They did this very well on GGGB and here. If you want Whitney Houston circa 1990 vocals then you need to run elsewhere fast. Rihanna's voice sits comfortably alongside the Cassies and Ciaras of the r'n'b world, as in they talk more than they sing.
Speaking of talking, Rihanna has finally returned to her Caribbean roots. After her debut she seemed to have left them behind, but now she touches upon on Wait Your Turn and Hard by singing/talking with her Bajan (she's from Barbados) accent. It adds an extra swagger that she would not normally exude.
Album booklet: You should find the pictures on the internet easily. After I listened to the album, I wondered why she had called it Rated R...Look at the album booklet and you will know why. Gone are the pretty fashion spreads for yesterday. Almost every picture features Rihanna baring skin. One picture has her butt cheeks in a thong, and there are many- far too many- photos of her topless with an arm covering her nipples.
She had been moving towards a 'dark, edgy' appearance for a year or so, but I personally feel besides wearing black and getting more tattoos, the album photos are nothing extraordinary. The nudity stands out far more than Rihanna's 'dark side'.
Guests: She holds her own in terms of guest features. On Hard there is the rapper Jeezy. His rap is not too long or short, and blends well with the tough image the song pushes. Will.I.Am, from the Black Eyed Peas, is on Photographs. He harmonises with Rihanna on the chorus and has his own verse near the end of the song. Overall, fans feel that he brings nothing to the song whatsoever but his name. Justin Timberlake features the same way he did on GGGB, through his vocals only. His name is not included on the tracklisting, but you can hear him on GGGB's Rehab, and RR's Cold Case Love when the beat boxing starts. This subtle feature is what Will.I.Am should have done. The best feature is Slash on Rockstar 101. For me, this song is a classic. After listening to the entire album, this was song I returned to straight away and HAD to have. The guitar, Rihanna's vocals, and the lyrics create some hot chemistry that will make you press Replay.
This is an album of two halves. The best side has Te Amo, Russian Roulette, Rockstar 101, Wait Your Turn, and Hard. The duds are the remaining seven songs. After being able to listen to every song on GGGB, I am very disappointed with liking less than half of this one. The critics have made this out to be one of the best pop albums this year, but I think Lady Gaga fans would have something to say about that...Fenty has taken a step backwards with this record. Everything from the gangsta music to the dark imagery seems very contrived, causing her to lose many fans. After four different Rihannas in five years, her music has finally suffered. If she returns to her dance beats, there is hope for her yet.
The stand out tracks: Te Amo, Russian Roulette, and Rockstar 101
I am a big Rihanna fan and have been from the very beginning when she first stormed the charts with Pon De Replay quite a few years ago now. Now RiRi along with many famous faces has recently become more famous for her private life rather than her music what with the whole "Chris Brown Assault" stories to hit the press earlier this year.
So Im sure Rihanna knew she had to pull some amazing music out of the bag for this album if people were going to stop and take notice again and start remembering her as an amazing singer and not a victim and boy she did not disappoint!
Some Tracks From The Album + My Opinions:
You may already have heard this song as it has already been released as a single! This is one of my favourite tracks from the album, the lyrics in this song are brilliant so well done to whoever wrote them. RiRi's voice is amazing on this track and it really shows off her vocals well showing us she is just as brilliant a singer as always.
Stupid In Love:
Probably my favourite song from the album. I cant think of anything bad bout the song but if I was forced to I guess the repeating of the word "stupid" in the chorus could get really annoying if you listen to it a lot! Everything else about the song is just faultless though and if (or should I say when?) this song is released it will definatley be a huge hit!
This track also features Will.I.Am. This is a very upbeat song which works perfectly with Rihanna as most of the tracks from this album are quite solw and ballads. So it was nice to hear a song you could really get up and have a dance to. Will.I.Am is fabulous on this track as well!
Meaning Gangster 4 Life. This was one of the tracks I didnt like that much. I dont know what it was about it but I felt it was lacking something and I felt it didnt do Rihanna's voice justice and didnt make her sound like the fantastic singer she is.
Cold Case Love:
Another brilliant song from this album. Again it shows off her vocals perfectly and could be a number 1 hit if she chooses to release it as a single. Like most of the songs from the album I think it does relate to her relationship with Chris Brown which makes the song even more emotional but hey I could be completely wrong!
Skip To: Russian Roulette Or Stupid In Love
Skip Past: G4L & Rockstar 101
RiRi does it again! There really is no stopping this woman she just keep on making hit after hit albums! There is only one or two tarcks from this album I didnt like but I would maybe give them a listen again, they could grow on me like so many songs do. The rest of the songs could easily all be number 1 hits and I will be listening to them over and over again. Im very happy I bought this album as it is quickly becoming one of my favourites and I would recommend it to anyone who has loved Rihanna's previous songs and even for those who didnt, this may convert you!!
The singer recently undergone the "Chris Brown Assault", where the singer was abused and sadly beaten to a pulp, then abused again my media takeout, paparazzi and immense amounts of gossip, and here we are months later with Rihanna's fourth studio album, titled Rated R.
I first heard these tracks at her Nokia sponsored London concert at Brixton Academy, which was such an amazing concert. She performed several of her new tracks (Russian Roulette, Hard and Wait Your Turn), and a mash of her hits, such as Umbrella and Take A Bow. Having seen the quality of her new album, I just had to get it.
The album cover is a very dark and slightly gothic look, showing Rihanna donning an eye patch and heavy make up, with a very unique hair do, one we have previously seen on the Pokemon Pidgeot. The cover looks like it could be ripped out of her recent Vogue Italia magazine spread, although personally, it is a step down from her previous album's Good Girl Gone Bad, where although it is also dark, it was a very high end and stylish, yet classy look.
This move in a different direction perhaps indicate that her music is also taking a turn to the dark side, and perhaps it is... for better or for worse.
This album contains 13 tracks, although it includes "Te Amo" which was a demo from a while ago.
1. Mad House 3/5
This is the introduction to the album and does not feature Rihanna singing this much. It is a dark and great intro to the album. It definitely has a rock and roll feel to it, which is a nice change from her previous pop albums.
2. Wait Your Turn 5/5
The second single is also the second track on her album!! The song is not only catchy and addictive, but changes so much throughout the song, that it can be enjoyed by almost anyone.
The song is fresh and does not feel like a "Good Girl Gone Bad" regurgitation, where she just reuses her strengths. She builds on it, and turns it into a crazy dark fiend of a song; I really like this song, and is one of my favourite on the album.
3. Hard (Ft. Jeezy) 3.5/5
Whilst this song starts off with a great backing beat, Rihanna's "Yea Yea" is off putting and the Bajan influence brings us back to her "Music Of The Sun" era which is a big "NO NO", although the urban part does lift it up, but only slightly. The song aims to be catchy and it succeeds in that aspect. It also succeeds in that dark side we expected from the album.
Lyrics wise, almost nothing can be gained on the first few plays. One struggles even to pick up what she is saying (thanks to her Bajan accent. Good or bad thing, YOU decide), but if you dig deeper, perhaps you'll understand that she's basically being an arrogant B* and slaying all her other competitors with the Um-be-rella (watch the Ciara parody) in her back pocket.
At 2 minutes, there is a great "doowwwnnn", which perhaps makes the song, but then ruined by the mindless babble Rihanna produces at 3 ½ minutes. NEXT.
This just isn't a song for me, although I'm sure many other people will like it :P
UPDATE: I have grown to like this much more now... It IS catchy and her arrogance is to love.
4. Stupid In Love 5/5
Just looking at the name of the track, I was immediately reminded of Beyonce's "Crazy In Love"... and another dance pop hit? Rihanna proves us wrong, giving us another powerful and emotional ballad. It isn't amazingly original, it does sound quite typical but it is easily likeable and catchy- this is the Unfaithful / Take A bow of Rated R. From the introduction, we already get the same vibe we got from Unfaithful, and this is easily one of the best songs on the album!
5. ROCKSTAR 101 (Ft. Slash) 3/5
The song starts with a different kind of feel, a much darker and gangster feel. Lyric wise it definitely reflects that, and it is a very loud mouthed approach to the song. It is a very different Rihanna we are hearing here; a good girl gone bad! I found this quite hard to get into but a few listens and it is ok. It is not my favourite, and for those who have been long time fans of Rihanna may feel the same way.
6. Russian Roulette 5/5
This is her first single, taking the form of a powerful ballad. The song is strong, with insightful and deep lyrics, however, as it was posted on rihannanow.com, which also showed a promo video of "Wait Your Turn", with lyrics "the wait is ova"; THAT was much more catchy and enjoyable than Russian Roulette.
Had that not appeared simultaneously, Russian Roulette would not be upstaged, and would reign in all its glory before Wait Your Turn is officially released.
However, Russian Roulette is a song which is difficult to play along with other songs. It is somewhat unique in that sense, but it blends in well with the album on the whole.
7. Fire Bomb 4.5/5
The song starts with a very rock and roll, "guitar hero" style intro, with an upbeat tune. This is another ballad, which sounds great. It sounds a bit like Kelly Clarkson (who I love) so this song is great. It has that extra edge with these guitars which is great. This is another one of my favourite songs, with a cool name 
8. Rude Boy 3/5
The whole songs sound more Beyonce than Rihanna to be honest. It feels a bit superficial and doesn't have the depth and meaning the other songs have. It feels like she has regressed to her good girl gone bad era, and perhaps even before... which is NOT good.
9. Photographs (Ft. Will.i.am) 3.5/5
The song has a great piano introduction, and Rihanna starts off great. It has quite a catchy verse with much for substance. This is a good collab with Will.i.am; his style evident throughout the song. It is a good song, but not amazing. It's also one that is quite easy to listen to and would be one the Black Eyed Peas fans would like.
10. G4L 3.5/5
A very dancy tune is introduced to us, but it is quickly changed by Rihanna's singing, turning the song into a VERY dark mood. Again, it is quite explicit and personal to her... The song has a mix of dark and upbeat bits which is interesting, but not sure it works too well. It is also not generic, so quite difficult to get into...
I like the quick bit... but not sure this whole style works 100% for Rihanna... I like the dark beat, but the song on top doesn't seem to work... This song is a bit of a mess for me.
11. Te Amo 4/5
A catchy and slightly exotic backing beat. Whilst we might expect a lovey dovey ballad from the name, it is quite an interesting and exotic song. It is a rhythmic song, but not one that is very addictive. It is upbeat and seems more suited to Bajan Dance, as I can picture this being played whilst people just rock it out...
It's not a bad song, but again, seems a little too "Music Of The Sun" for this mature Rihanna. It's nice that she's going back to her roots, and it IS an improvement, but it's not amazing for a comeback album after everything that's happened.
As it was a demo from before, it lacks the dark undertones of this album, which makes this an odd one out... but it is easy to listen to...
12. Cold Case Love 5/5
Another ballad which has a catchy rhythm in the background, another cultural element sounding very Bajan... It is a nice song, it is not easy to get into, but after a few listens it is very good, and especially if you listen to the whole album you can really feel the consistency.
Near the end, the beat gets much stronger and that works well in engaging the listener. A strong song and the lyrics are quite interesting and personal in some respect... It isn't my favourite song, but a good one.
UPDATE: Listening to this on repeat, it has SO much depth and I love the way it crescendos near the end. It is definitely one of my favourite songs on this album.
13. The Last Song 4/5
The song starts slow, and isn't particularly exciting to begin with, but it gradually develops into something more listenable and interesting. I think it is quite a good song to end, as if a catharsis from a tragedy... It is not dark, but light, which lifts the mood from listening to the whole album.
It definitely ISN'T the last song for Rihanna, but perhaps the last in her phase of aggression, sadness and growing up.
My favourite tracks are: Cold Case Love, Wait Your Turn, Stupid In Love, Fire Bomb
Tracks to skip: Rudeboy, G4L
It can be purchased for £8.98 on Amazon, although I reckon you can get this cheaper on other websites online. If you want this cheaper, do a little hunting, and I'll bet you'll find it!
Rihanna's fourth album brings an incredibly dark edge to her already existing style, and we're not talking about her constant wearing of fishnets, leather and provocative clothing. Instead of just releasing another album of dance pop hits which are catchy and all the same, she builds on it and brings it to another level- an arrogant, dark and moody one.
This huge change shows that she has not only grown as a person, but her way of expressing what she wants, evident through the depth and explicity of the lyrics. Whilst her previous albums touched mainly on love and romance in a superficial way, the lyrics found in Rated R are much more personal, which elevates the quality of the album. There is also a nice touch that links all her previous work together, which are the Bajan beats and the cultural rhythm which is evident through many of the tracks and makes the album consistent.
Whilst most of the songs do fit into this dark genre, a few of them stand out, such as Te Amo, Rockstar, Photographs and G4L. This could be due to the variation in people she worked with such as Slash and Will.i.am, and are obviously different when listening to this.
I have found that listening to this album, there are a bunch of songs I absolutely love, but a few that I really don't like... caught between two extremes. Surely, this album won't appeal to all fans of Rihanna, as this is a very DIFFERENT style to her previous works, but there is something here for EVERYONE. We expected her to come back with a BANG, and in a sense she did with her outrageous and loudmouthed album (and the end of Russian Roulette), but not completely, hence we ask ourselves, is this perhaps, "OVA-rated"?
I certainly don't think so.
The name 'Rihanna' seems to keep getting bigger and bigger; down to both her music and her turbulent personal life. Since the release of 2007's Good Girl Gone Bad it would seem that Rihanna's music career knows no bounds. With the massive hit that was Umbrella it was inevitable that Rihanna was going to have to come back with an album that would stomp that one in the ground, but with such a reputation now on her young shoulders is she capable of coping with the pressure or has she caved with her Rated R album?
Up until the release of Good Girl Gone Bad I was a fan of Rihanna's and had previously purchased all her albums but to me she was simply another conventional mainstream R&B artist that rise as quickly as they fall but with the help of mentor Jay Z she's changed public opinion on her and become a worthy rival to the likes of Beyonce.
1) Mad House
2) Wait Your Turn
4) Stupid In Love
5) Rockstar 101
6) Russian Roulette
7) Fire Bomb
8) Rude Boy
11) Te Amo
12) Cold Case Love
13) The Last Song
The album begins subtly with the synthy beats of Mad House, this track is definitely a grower and not one that you're likely to take to immediately. This song is reminiscent of Good Girl Gone Bad's Question Existing which isn't necessarily a good thing. Question Existing was a brilliant song for me but not everybody shared my enthusiasm for it and I think this song may suffer because it's so different to Rihanna's other songs. Next up is The Wait Is Over which is the second single to be released in the UK from the album, a line which millions of Rihanna fans will be echoing all over the world. This song is no Umbrella but it is one that captures you on first listen and is a lot more edgy that the manufactured R&B/Pop that fans will be used to.
Hard, featuring rapper Jeezy is more of what Rihanna fans are used to and sounds strikingly similar to previous Rihanna songs. It's less manufactured R&B though much like the majority of this album and I can't work out whether this is a good thing. Songs like Umbrella have a limited shelf life because you get so into them that once you've listened to it more than any other song on the planet it quickly becomes tiresome. Hard is a song that wont necessarily resonate any strong opinion however it's likely to be one that when you do come across it it's one that can be happily listened to without shouting 'if I hear that song one more time I'll kill myself'!
Then we come to the second collaboration on the album with no other than... wait for it... yep you guessed it... Neyo! The serial collaborator has worked with the R&B princess a couple of times before; he wrote the superb Unfaithful and featured on Good Girl Gone Bad with the ballad Hate That I Love You. Therefore it doesn't take half a brain to figure out that this is going to be another Neyo inspired, slow tempo ballad that has Neyo written all over it before his well delivered vocals even hit your ear drums. This is a song where Rihanna really gets to show off her beautifully nasal vocals. Her distinctive voice is indisputably something that some listeners will not enjoy as much as the strong vocals of Beyonce. I feel that Rihanna is very overshadowed by her male counterpart in this song. Other collaborators come in the form of Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash with the song Rockstar, a much less obvious team up produces an extremely edgy R&B track, understandably crossing that barrier into the rock genre. I'm by no means a fan of rock music but this is a superb song and Rihanna's vocals manage to shine over the heavy guitar and back beats. This is without doubt a highlight of the album.
The only other (obvious) collaborator comes in the form of Black Eyed Peas front man Will I Am, this guy seems to be intent on working with every star in the world from the late Michael Jackson to Cheryl Cole, stopping at Faith Hill along the way. This man's credentials speak for themselves. Photographs, which was co wrote and produced by the hip hop pioneer, isn't a stand out track but a nice filler with sturdy beats and an echoing chorus that fails to stick in your head like Will I Am songs tend to do. Photographs has all the potential in the world but unfortunately falls flat. Another obvious person that you'd expect to hear on this album is of course hip hop legend and Rihanna's mentor Jay Z. I personally feel that an up-tempo song featuring Jay Z to rival Umbrella would have been a welcome addition to the album. It's obvious that Rihanna's tried hard to go down a different route with this album but she should follow Beyonce's lead and stick to what she knows and just like Beyonce and Jay Z; Rihanna and Jay Z are pretty much guaranteed a hit single.
The first single to be released from the highly anticipated album is Russian Roulette which is another grower, but when it gets into your head I guarantee it isn't going anywhere. The mounting beats lead to a crescendo where Rihanna's vocals take over completely from the music almost as if it's not there. This is a fantastic song but it's one that may not grab you straight away like Wait Your Turn or Rockstar so it needs to be given a chance.
G4L is another highlight which I found impossible to turn off and one that takes Rihanna down an even edgier route, discussing the use of guns. The first line captures you instantly; 'I lick the gun when I'm done cause I know that revenge is sweet' this seemingly sets the tone for the song however in true Rihanna style she manages to steer away from the murderous girlfriend route to make it a superb R&B track. The only problem that I have with this song is that he sounds very similar to a lot of the other mid-tempo songs on the album and that's a major problem; the great thing about Good Girl Gone Bad was that every song was unique from the likes of Breakin' Dishes to Question Existing but this album is very similar and the tracks aren't spaced out very well so that you don't notice the similarity between certain tracks.
Fire Bomb, another up-tempo track is a welcome addition to the album and almost sounds like it could be played at the end of an uplifting film with it's elevating beats. Fire Bomb is a really uplifting track and I don't doubt that it will be a lot of peoples favourite because it captivates you instantly with the mood of the track. Rude Boy was instantly my favourite track on the album and is reminiscent of the insanely catchy Don't Stop The Music; it's something that I doubt will be released as a single as it doesn't seem to have that wide appeal like other up-tempo Rihanna songs have but it's still my personal favourite and one you should definitely download if you don't plan on downloading the entire album.
The last three songs on the album take us down more of a chilled out route; starting with the strangely named Te Amo. This isn't a stand out song on the album and seems like it could be on any old run of the mill R&B stars album. This isn't trademark Rihanna and although it's an enjoyable track to an extent it doesn't live up to other songs. Cold Case Love is a Justin Timberlake written song and another slower song however it's distinctly better than Te Amo and is very similar to her Justin Timberlake collaboration of Rehab from Good Girl Gone Bad. This is a superb song that gets even better when it reaches the understated chorus.
The last song on the album, aptly named The Last Song was written solely by Rihanna herself and is a fantastic ending to the album. It wont grab you straight away with the lacklustre first verse but if you wait until it gets into the chorus it will capture you and is the sort of chorus that you'll want to hear over and over again.
With the albums edgier sound, some adult content is almost to be expected and there is some very strong yet infrequent language on a couple of songs. The album strangely doesn't have a parental guidance rating however the title Rated R evidently means more than previously expected.
One surprise that I found when listening to this album is that it doesn't feature her recent collaboration with Jay Z and Kanye West, Run This Town reached number one in the charts and something that I find a lot is that if the artist only featured on the song they will remix it to add more of their vocals so it can feature on their album. Ashanti is someone who does this regularly with songs that she features on and I would liked to have heard a remix of Run This Town.
I have to say that this is a superb album and a worthy follow up to Good Girl Gone Bad, it may lack the variety that was ever present in it's predecessor but if you give it a chance then I expect that you'll fall in love with this album and with R&B albums being released at present like Alexandra Burke and Cheryl Cole it's good to see that Rihanna can still outdo them all with her nasally voice, brilliant song writing abilities and collaborations; some predictable, some not so. There isn't a track on this album that I don't like, the only track that I don't feel is as strong as the rest is Te Amo and is too much in the shadows of Beyonce's Ave Maria.
The album is released November 23rd and is available to pre-order from iTunes for £7.99. Fortunately I've managed to get my hands on a copy before it's released!