Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Rihanna Loud Album Review

Rihanna’s new album LOUD declares an exit from her dark Rated R era, just under one year since her last release. Is it too soon? This album sees her in a colourful, fun, happy way. With singles “Only Girl”, “What’s my name” and promo “Who’s that chick” already hitting radios way before the album was released, a lot of hype was formed around this album… does it live up to the hype? You can check out my preview before reading the review here.

The album cover is a head shot of Rihanna with her fabulously hot new red hair, matched by her lusciously red lips and eyes closed. A sensual shot carefully treated with a delicate filter that turns what would otherwise be a solid and crisp photo into a dreamy one. The photo itself definitely matches the title of “Loud”, but will the songs inside reflect this too?

The album contains 11 new tracks:

01. S&M 3.5/5
“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me” are part of the lyrics to this song. Fun, sexy and quirky, this song has a strong beat, but fails to excite me. It is an average song to me, but I may grow to like it.

02. What’s My Name? ft. Drake 4/5
This song is almost split into two halves, one with Drake, the other with Rihanna. Contrary to previous collaborations with male artists, Drake takes the song rather slow in his rap which is a nice change, but the Rihanna parts are quick, witty and catchy. The chorus is really addictive and this song is a really really solid track. A Rihanna solo version is available on the extended edition which would make this song 4.5/5.

03. Cheers (Drink to That) 4.5/5
Sampling Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You”, the song places “AYeahaYeah, A YeahaYeah” here there and everywhere. Whilst it’s a great sound for Avril’s song, their voices clash completely, and I find myself more focussed on Avril’s bit… the song is catchy whether it has the Avril sampling or not, and personally I would do without it. Also don’t like the muffled party bit near the end… but all in all a good song.

04. Fading 3.5/5
A fun song but just doesn’t stand out… Upon the first listen, it sounds like something that jumped out of the 90s. I think I’ll get into it if I listen to it a few times more, but right now, it is fading amongst the other songs.

05. Only Girl (In The World) 4/5
The first single to be released from this album, Only Girl (In The World) is a shouty yet upbeat track that takes a while to catch on. Definitely going to be a club/dance hit, it peaked on the US 100 billboards at #3. This is not my favourite track from the singer, but nonetheless better than anything found in “Music of the Sun”. Whilst it may be “loud” in the literal sense, it’s more of a “headache” loud.

06. California King (Bed) 4.5/5
A lovely soft introduction followed by sweet lyrics and a powerful chorus. Wasn’t too fond of the weird song title- how can you sing about a California King Bed? But the song is strong, and compared to the weaker tracks of this album, this stands out as being the best ballad here.

07. Man Down 5/5
A strong beat with a Bajan sound, this song is one of the best on the album. The darker references bring back the Rated R theme in a lighter more fun way, and I wish all tracks on this album was like this.

08. Raining Men (Ft. Nicki Minaj) 1/5
Completely out of place and a huge wreck. It isn’t something a human can listen to- it just sounds so awkward and terrible- goes to show not all collabs work!

09. Complicated 2.5/5
A really boring song and just doesn’t capture you in any way. It tries too hard to be shouty that it strains too much. NEXT.

10. Skin 3.5/5
Not too fond of this one, again forgettable. It is Ok to listen to- sounds a bit like Rated R tracks with the backing…

11. Love The Way You Lie Part II (Ft. Eminem) 5/5
Retaining the style and emotion of the first, Part II turns the perspective on the female side, making this song much more soft and sensual. The chorus being the same definitely makes this consistent, as well as Eminem’s rap which has a similar beat and grows in intensity which is great. This is the best way to end this album possible.

Who’s That Chick (4.5/5) was part of Doritos’ Late Night Campaign; this track was leaked on the internet and sent fans in a craze. The song is heavily autotuned and has a more generic sound, which for some reason I like more than “Only Girl”. This song is highly addictive and you can’t get it out of your head. This is on the extended edition.

SONGS TO LOVE- Cheers, Love The Way You Lie Part 2, Man Down,
SONGS TO SKIP- Complicated, Raining Men

The album can be purchased for under £10 on Amazon and most online retailers.

LOUD definitely has a select few strong tracks, but also some really forgettable ones. The album as a whole will not please everyone, and personally, I only like a few tracks A LOT. The others I wouldn’t miss at all. Get those select few good ones on iTunes and ditch the rest.

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