My experience with Rihanna's music is hypocritical to say the least, I've gone from thinking she has no talent to now considering her to be one of the best R&B/Pop artist out. Not only does she have talent, but her singing has improved substantially and she's displayed that she has the ability give her varied fans the type of music they are looking for.
She serves up a Pop/Dance/House sounding record like “Only Girl (In The World)” to the more commercial audience, then switches gears to serve her R&B/Hip Hop fans with a record like “What's My Name?” with raps raining champ Drake. She then gets get a little gully (chuckle) going back to her roots on the Reggae sounding “Man Down” record to keep her original West Indian audience satisfied the same way she did with “Rude Boy” on Rated R.
On my iTunes, I have a playlist called “My Sh*T” that only certain songs throughout the years have the privilege of being added to, I'm talking about the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem, Michael Jackson etc. Rihanna is one of the few female R&B artists to make it to this playlist. Songs like “Only Girl” and “What's My Name?” are always in constant rotation on that list, despite the fact that the radio always plays them.
Of course you all know I'm a Hip Hop dude so songs like “Cheers,” “Fading” and “California King Bed” aren't really my type of joints, and I'm not checking for those when I'm looking to hear some R&B. On the other hand though the album does have special moments with songs like “What's My Name?,” “Only Girl (In The World),” “Raining Men,” and “Love The Way You Lie (Part II).” These songs are loved by most whether or not you like the artist or genre.
Although many of the songs have a up beat and fun sound to them, the overall theme to the album is s*x. Just go through the lyrics, from out right being excited by chains and whips on “S&M” to wanting a boy to go down town on “What's My Name?,” Ri Ri is being clear about what she's down for at this time in her life.
Rihanna is all grown up now and she wants everyone to know it.
I think this is Rihanna's best work thus far, though some might consider Rated R her effort. I give Loud 4/5.
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