Rihanna may not be the best vocalist around, but going by the way she consistently breaks into the top end of the charts and the way she uses her gigantic fan-following around the world (cleverly u
Rihanna may not be the best vocalist around, but going by the way she consistently breaks into the top end of the charts and the way she uses her gigantic fan-following around the world (cleverly using social media) to market her music, ‘Unapologetic’ is definitely one of the most awaited albums of the year by one of the more colourful entertainers of our time.
Most critics have already pounced on the fact that she and Chris Brown are telling the audience to mind their own business via their duet ‘Nobodys Business‘ but we’ll get to that later. ‘Diamonds‘ launched the album and despite not being anywhere close to her best in recent years (who can forget crowd and chart-pleasers like ‘We Found Love‘ and ‘Where Have You Been‘), it will certainly help the album give Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 competition in the worldwide Christmas bonanza that’s just beginning.
‘Unapologetic’ begins with ‘Fresh Off The Runway‘ which sounds like Rihanna was thrown into a techno-house and told to rap at gunpoint. It’s quite bad, even annoying, but just when you wonder what’s wrong you hear the familiar “Shine bright like a diamond” kicking off a familiar tune. That’s followed by her duet with Eminem. The last time these two collaborated we got the genius that was ‘Love The Way You Lie‘ – one of the biggest hits of 2010. This time she goes into repetition mode again and Eminem makes a cameo that will make you wish he’d stayed in hibernation.
The next two songs ‘Power It Up‘ and ‘Loveeee Song‘ (feat. Future) fall in the same filler category before things begin to get better. ‘Jump‘ is by no means her best work but works to uplift a rather mediocre album. It had potential as a club hit, but the crown for that track is without a doubt ‘Right Now‘ (feat. David Guetta). Guetta seems to be the artist with the Midas touch adding just the right beats and intensity to compliment Rihanna’s vocals. He gives the track personality without making it sound repetitive.
‘What Now‘ and ‘Stay‘ (feat. Mikky Ekko) are the ballads on the record. None will put you in an introspective mood as all too often tracks on ‘Unapologetic’ start off promisingly but disappoint owing to overproduced choruses or meandering beats. ‘Love Without Tragedy – Mother Mary‘ is another track that takes this route. It starts off in retro-Madonna fashion and from exactly the point when the track should be peaking you get a mistaken recording of her last confession, layered with mellow beats. Why?!
‘Nobody’s Business‘ is a warning sign to everyone around. This has probably pissed so many people off that next time she won’t have support on hand if something (God forbid) goes wrong. “You’ll always be mine, I’ll always be your girl. It ain’t nobody’s business but mine and my baby” she croons. We get it guys. We’ll leave you’ll alone. Go get a room! As a track, it clearly has riffs borrowed from Michael Jackson with a reto feel. Maybe they were reminiscing more innocent times?
‘No Love Allowed‘ (the title you would have THOUGHT she would collaborate with Chris Brown for) is one of those feel-good tracks on the album where she slips so easily into her home Carib territory, it makes us remember why we fell in love with the Rihanna that left an impression on us with early hits like ‘Pon De Replay’. Despite being mid-tempo, it has a catchy beat and shows us her potential. Unfortunately, unapologetically, I can’t say the same for rest for the album!
Rewind: Right Now (feat. David Guetta), No Love Allowed, Jump, Love Without Tragedy (first half)