After a very tumultuous and challenging year in her personal life, Rihanna has returned to her music with the release of her fourth album, Rated R. As you must know by now, Miss Sunshine has definitely left the building and the good girl has officially gone bad. Lucky for Rihanna and her fans, the music she is producing during this transformation is actually quite good!
Rated R is a dark album with a sinister but triumphant feel to it. Wait is Ova is a coyly written song full of warning shots to potential performers laying in wait, vying for Rihanna’s current spot. Hard featuring Young Jeezy, has Rihanna demanding respect while she reminds us how gangstalicious she is. Who told you Barbados was all palm trees and beaches?
The album has its share of bravado, but some songs also find Rihanna very somber and open. In Stupid Love, she realizes her error in trying to hold onto something that was not working:
“Trying to make this work
But you act like a jerk
Silly of me
To keep holding on
But the dunce cap is off…”
Clearly she is referencing her recent failed relationship and the results are that her fans are able to see Rihanna as a person. Russian Roulette, despite its controversial subject matter, remains one of the strongest songs on the album. Its brooding and eeire tone was the best way to prepare us for Rated R.