Rihanna – Unapologetic

Karl McDonald
Posted November 29, 2012 in Music Reviews

BIMM may-june 22 – Desktop

Here it is. The seventh Rihanna album in seven years. The one with the collaboration. You could argue that Rihanna and Chris Brown teaming up on a strangely 90s song called Nobody’s Business is an exploitation of the genuine public outrage surrounding the domestic abuse conviction. But, realistically, it’s nobody’s job to be a martyr for pedagogical purposes, and if the world’s clickbait fishermen can profit from a personal issue, why shouldn’t the parties involved, even if it is a little nauseating? The song mercifully leaves the heavy Fifty Shades hinting aside for a moment and, with house pianos, stabbing synth-strings and Chris Brown essentially just Michael-Jackson-ad-libbing his way through the song, it’s actually pretty brilliant. That’s if you can set aside the apologist aspect, which is a personal thing.

Otherwise, though, the album plays like a hits collection, as all great pop albums do. It’s aggressively current, at points. Robotic American dubstep drives Jump, and Pour It Up sounds curiously like the kind of song you’d make after you’d heard the Kendrick Lamar album. If that’s the case, these pop producers and their princess are working at crazy speed. It’s their job to stay on top of radio, stepping into any gap that might appear, and they do it well. That’s what makes Rihanna a step above the competition at the moment.

It’s hard to argue with. Out of the 14 songs on the album, probably 12 could play on daytime radio and around eight are good enough to dominate it. Rihanna is still what ‘now’ sounds like, and she’s gonna continue to exploit that, whether the commentariat have an argument or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWa5ItXqCQo

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