Rihanna – Rated R
S: Thanks to Lala.com I can listen to full albums and review them (either here or in my head….whatever) without having to buy the album, or even download it and then throw it away when I don’t like it. I hate unnecessary downloading. So here’s my first review. Rihanna’s Rated R.
The entire album is too soft. She is trying to do an “edgy” personality but her voice sounds like she’s still a boppy little teenager and the beats behind her are way too soft and clean. I think she’s trying to live up to her “bad” image from”Good Girl Gone Bad” but I was never fooled into thinking that she was ACTUALLY going bad of her own accord, but that Jay-Z thought it would be a good look for her. She can pull of the ever-seductive mix of a sweet girl with bad tendencies, but she can’t pull off the straight up bad girl.
Hard is I guess supposed to set the tone of the album but saying you’re hard and being hard are two different things Rihanna. And since you call out “Where the bloggers at?” here I am. Russian Roulette is a sleepy tune. ‘Nuff said. I was surprised that it actually has a bullet blast at the end which is apparently edited out of the radio version. Good move censors.
Onto the songs not out yet. Cold Case Love is six minutes long and I could have had it end at three. It was ridiculously slow and booooooorrrring. Te Amo brings in a Spanish guitar but she’s singing about what “te amo” might mean. How can a bad girl bring in a spanish guitar and be so obsessed with the correct translation with the world’s most known Spanish phrase? People seem to like Photographs and during the first half of the song all I could think was “Really??” The beat is like a throwback to 80s pop rock; I kept expecting someone to break into “Land Down Under” which I probably would have enjoyed more. Then out of nowhere the second half of the song has an autotuned beat and features will.i.am. Maybe if the song didn’t have a double personality I may have enjoyed it a bit more. Or if they had just taken the second half and made THAT the song. Honestly, the only song I liked was Rude Boy which seemed like a decent song to knock boots to, but not much else.
I think the entire album was supposed to sound like G4L: a crazy, hardcore, edgy bitch who doesn’t care about anything (she does a lot of swearing, even the F word! ooooooohhh). The opening and ending lyric is “I lick the gun when I’m done/Because I know that revenge is sweet.” The song is about having your girl’s back and going down together if need be…girls for life…get it? Her voice gets a little grittier, but still not gritty enough to make the song sound legitimate. Perhaps if they miked her a little farther away and made her swig some rum (she IS from Barbados) without a chaser it would have sounded better.
Overall, this album is a sad follow up to Good Girl Gone Bad. I understand that she wants to put out an image of a bad girl and convey that in her music, but she’s contending with REAL bad girls like Amy Winehouse, Lindsey Lohan, and Lady Gaga just to name a few. She needs to step up the image, harden her lyrics, and edge up her voice before she can try and pull it off. Right now she reminds me of a kitten in a leather Halloween costume.