Friday, November 20, 2009
Album Review: Rated R - Rihanna
The wait is finally Ova. I was excited when I heard Rihanna was in the midst of recording a new album. Well, the only wise thing she could do after the Chris Brown saga, was to focus on her career.
Rated R takes on a more Gothic feel, extremely dark, showing a lot of skin (which isn't rare) and slightly trying a little too hard to 'grow up'.
While you wait let me dissect her latest album for you track by track.
Mad House - A lyric-less intro interlude. Very dark and sensual, sets the tone of the album for cohesiveness.
Wait your turn - A catchy track. I can totally imagine playing this track on a night road trip with my girls, blasting it out loud on your speakers. You'll find yourself bobbing your head to the catchy line, "The wait is over, the wait is over.."
Hard ft Jeezy - A usual R&B number. We'll be hearing a lot of this in the clubs.
Stupid in love - Hmm, I wonder who this one’s about? *giggles* Finger snapping groove. Pretty much Mid-tempo. First verse, she goes “Don’t treat me like I’m stupid”. 2nd verse something about her being an idiot. Her friends have told her he is not one. 3rd verse, she talks about him “actin’ like a jerk”. Something about a “dunce cap”. Hook goes: “I may be young but I’m not stupid. I’m not stupid in love”. It's hard not to like the track.
Rockstar 101 - Possibly my favourite track on the album. Features Slash on guitar. Full of attitude. Watch out for this track with Riri on full swag mode. Only thing she's missing is a black guitar.
Russian Roulette - The album's first single. Played widely all over national radio, very dark but gets a little boring towards bridge.. Not something I'd play over and over again.
Fire Bomb - Heavy use of cars as metaphors. One of her lines go, “Lovers need to clear the road” and “where we’re goin’ we don’t need no breaks”. Has more of a rock element that Rockstar, rather boring, nothing impressive.
Rude Boy - On this track, Rihanna brings on a hell lot of fun, extremely sexy. She's out looking for a new man who could 'take it, take it'. Boys would blush to hear her say, “Giddy up. Give it to me baby. Give it to me harder. Buckle up.” That's the Riri we like - having the time of her life, having fun.
Photographs ft Will.i.am - Great track going with Will.i.am. Pumped up with Will.i.am's usual grooves and Riri's haunting vocals singing about a bad heartbreak. "All I've got is nothing without you" she sang repeatedly, was strangely quite smooth. Hard to not wonder if she's missing that particular someone.. hmm. When the drums kick in 2nd verse with the familiar BEP style. Will’s vocals come in on bridge adding a little male perspective on the matter.
G4L - Stands for "Gangsta for Life", couldn't tell until very much later. Feels like a part 2 to Jay-z's 'Run this town' which she was part of. Pretty much a dramatic track taking about guns in the air, bitches and m*therfu*kers. Fierce la this girl.
Te Amo - I guess this is considered one of her 'ballad' tracks? Cheesy. "Don't let love hurt you", a wise woman warns her. Think she's talking about Oprah.
Cold case love - A collaboration with Justin Timberlake. Once again it sets listeners thinking who's she singing about, "What you did to me was a crime". She's obviously very hurt in this track. At the chorus, "We opened up a cold case love, And It got the best of us, And Now prints, pictures & white outlines, Are all that's left at the scene of a crime of a cold case love.." Very well written lyrics but a tad bit slow for my liking.
The Last Song - Final track to the song, not exactly a great way to end the album. Felt like it was missing something, like ending it off too abruptly. And her singing "The last song" on repeat was kind of annoying.
Verdict - I generally enjoyed the album. The lack of cheesy, lovey dovey ballads was unlike her but it's an interesting take to the record. Riri was also a potty mouth in this record, much use of the F word in many tracks. Though there's one thing I don't understand - if the album was to divert people's attention away from her boyfriend saga, then why most of the songs are talking about her jerk of a boyfriend? Well on the a good note, I feel Riri is finally growing up (although she's trying a little hard to prove that point) and evolving into someone new.
Worthy tracks: Rockstar 101, Rude boy, Photographs, Cold case love.
With A-lists producers helping her through this record, I say, it was a good wait.