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Album Revew: "Unapologetic" by Rihanna

by Photo of Dana Kai-el

Rihanna “Unapologetically” gives us her seventh album.

Album Revew:

With seven albums in seven years, Rihanna has got the ball rolling and it seems like nothing can stop her but herself. Rihanna has seemed to embrace her new gritty image that the ever-watching public eye has given her, and she isn’t apologizing for it. The star’s newest album Unapologetic gives listeners an understandably personal look into what the public has deemed her recent wild and irrational behavior.

The album starts off pretty shallow and superficial in comparison to the rest of the album, with songs like "Phresh Out the Runway" and "Pour It Up." Rihanna displays her edgy confidence, borderline cockiness, by bragging about how much sass and money she has. “Throw it up, throw it up, watch it all fall out/ Pour it up, pour it up, that’s how we ball out…. and I still got more money” is the catchy hook for "Pour It up." She tells us that she can “walk up in this b*tch like I own this hoe” in the upbeat song, "Phresh Out the Runway." Regardless of its insubstantial lyrics, both tracks still have the potential to be hits. Personally, "Pour It Up" is one of my favorites off the album and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a hit single especially since it is produced by Key Wane, the same person who produced current hit "Bands A Make Her Dance." 

Between these two songs is her current #1 single "Diamonds" and "Numb" featuring rapper Eminem. "Numb" slowly and sensually reminds you of Rihanna’s I don’t give a f*ck attitude, “ I don’t care, can’t tell me nothing” is how the singer introduces the track and then Eminem lightens the mood with his lyrical humor, “I’m the siren that you hear/ I’m the butt police, and I’m looking at your rear, rear, rear.”

The album is then introduced to its first ballad with "Loveeeeeee Song" featuring rap’s newest singer, Future. While Future’s vocal skills can make one’s ears bleed, Rihanna saves the vocal side of the track with her sensual voice. Even with Future’s whining that can be equated to that of a dying animal, the song is still catchy and beautiful in its own right. "Loveeeeeee Song" is another personal favorite that I can see climbing the charts.

After Rihanna slows it down, she doesn’t hesitate to pick things back up with "Jump" and "Right Now." "Jump" gives a 90’s R&B vibe with its sample of 90’s R&B hit "Pony" by Ginuwine and Destiny’s Child-like flow. To counter that, the song is mixed with a more contemporary feel with a modern dubstep beat and Kanye West in the background. Keeping up with the dubstep theme, "Jump" is followed by "Right Now" featuring French house music producer and DJ David Guetta. Both "Jump" and "Right Now" will be party shakers that will have people moving with its house and dubstep beats.

Once the party is over, Rihanna takes it back to a more slow and personal note with ballads "What Now," "Stay," and "Get It Over With." All three songs seem to be directed towards her love life and can probably be linked to her relationship with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. In "What Now" Rihanna sings, “There's no one to call cause I’m just playing games with them all/The most where I’m happy, the more that I’m feeling alone/'Cause I spent every hour just going through the motions/I cant even get the emotions to come out/Dry as a bone, but I just wanna shout/ What now? I just can't figure it out.” The emotional hook for "Stay" says, “Not really sure how to feel about it/Something in the way you move/Makes me feel like I can't live without you/It takes me all the way/I want you to stay.” But what’s probably the album’s biggest attention grabber is what follows the ballad "Stay": a duet with Brown and the most personal track on the album.

Everyone is going to eat the collaboration up as the two young heartthrobs tell the world straight up that their relationship is "Nobody’s Business." “You'll always be mine, sing it to the world/Always be my boy, I'll always be your girl/Ain't nobody's business, but mine, and my baby.” Regardless of the scandal behind it the song is memorable for other reasons. "Nobody’s Business" samples "The Way You Make Me Feel" by the late great legend Michael Jackson. The flip side of this track is the song that follows, the album’s most personal ballad "Love without Tragedy - Mother Mary," which is nearly seven minutes of distinctive outpour. “Who knew the course of this one drive/Injured us fatally/ You took the best years of my life/I took the best years of your life/ Felt like love struck me in the night/ I prayed that love don't strike twice.” Directly after singing about her love for Chris Brown, it is rebutted with remnants of thoughts of the domestic assault scandal that seems to constantly resurface in both artists' careers.

The album concludes with more songs of a broken heart. Rihanna never lets an album go without adding her Caribbean vibe and this time around, "No Love Allowed" covers that along with "Lost in Paradise."  The album ends on a note that seems to bring her story full circle, a song that seems to be directed to the public, a song entitled, "Half of Me." “ You saw me on a television/ Hanging out my dirty linen/You're entitled to your own opinion/Said you shake your head at my decision… But you saw me on a television/Yeah you saw on a television/ But that's just the half of it/You saw the half of it, yeah/This is the life I live/And that's just the half of it.”

While everyone is focused on her personal young, wild and free lifestyle and behavior, Rihanna reminds us that she is only human and really isn’t sorry for being her. Her “idgaf” edgy style and attitude reflects in her music but so does her talent, which should speak for itself aside from every thing else. From R&B to Pop to Dubstep, Unapologetic shows range in cohesive versatility. Rihanna has the ability to cross musical borders successfully and that is nothing to be sorry for.

Unapologetic is in stores now.

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see Rihanna and your other favorite artists live

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