More about: Rihanna
With her newfound bad girl image, pop Princess Rihanna is more Grace Jones than Catherine Zeta-Jones these days. Whether it was her altercation with ex-beau Chris Brown, or the shift in acceptability for explicit images in the media, Rihanna dances on the edge of controversy on a day to day basis with her unambiguous but loveable nature. She’s not that sweet ‘Pon De Replay’ girl anymore.
Opening with ‘S&M’, you’re privy to the Barbadian’s inner thoughts regarding the taboo of mischievous sexual encounters. Confessing, “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,” you’d be excused for drifting off for a brief moment to a happy place. Aside from the lyrical content, the hard hitting club riff with its elements of electro is a step in the right direction as far as repeating her consistent run of chart success. Another obvious commercial hit included on ‘Loud’ is the reworking of Eminem’s ‘Love The Way You Lie’. Yet again featuring the man himself, less heavy, and definitely a step up from its predecessor, Em’s exceptionally mature flow mixed with Rihanna’s finely tuned vocals make for one hell of a remix. An unlikely pairing, the two music heavyweights prove that you should always expect the unexpected.
The thing with Rihanna is that however many catchy records she manages to churn out her albums always feature a couple of duds. On this go round, ‘Cheers (Drink To That)’, is one of those songs. Allowing her accent to feed through a little more than usual, the song suggests having a drink, or two, but her dull monotone drawl sounds like she may have had one too many. And although ‘Man Down’ has the potential to fall to the same fate, the infectious hook and head-nodding reggae-inspired instrumental, is a ten out of ten on the catchy scale.
Stand out tracks include, 'Raining Men’, with femcee of the moment Nicki Minaj, due in part to its party starter potential, and ‘Skin’. A play by play of an evening of intimacy, with quite possibly the most demanding bedroom beauty of them all, is all about less than more. The slow flow and intricate underlining guitar solo help complete a cut that cannot be overlooked when putting together that all important slow jam mixtape.
Featuring just three artists this time around, Rihanna holds her own on ‘Loud’. The above mentioned acts were an obvious choice to enhance not only the album’s chances of selling, but also Rihanna’s profile. The final feature comes in the form of hip-hop’s current golden boy, Drake. The song, ‘What’s My Name’, comes across a tad bit annoying at first, but upon more listens the rewind value of the record rises remarkably. While Drake’s short but concise verse, which includes the cocky line: “The square root of 69 is ate somethin’… right?/ Cos I’ve been trying to work it out all night,” the track in general gives off an air of sunshine. Put it this way, it’s enough to warm up this extremely cold winter season.
Rihanna - Loud And Proud
More about: Rihanna