Rihanna
Rated R


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (90 Reviews)
November 23rd, 2009 | 32 replies | 13,894 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Her most diverse and emotionally profound effort, but also quite possibly her most interconnected and defining.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Disregard whatever Rihanna has ever said and done. Forget the offer to stand under her Umbrella, because she’s morphing an R&B clubstress into a heartrending character weeping over personal struggle and hardship. The last year has been somewhat of a battlefield on all fronts, but interestingly, rendering an ocean of diverging hip-hop beats with dank linings and meek cores seems to be just the cure for a recovering soul. One comes to the conclusion that if not for the past event(s), could such coarseness like this have been plausible? Was it on the table, spurring at the moment? Likewise, it’s hard to imagine how a perking life prior could conjure such bleak emotiveness, while still managing to keep a toolbox of proverbial sounds and ideas close to heart, spinning of a few supplementary experiments in the same breadth. Self-doubt, misfortune and choice are evenly disclosed over the album’s arch, binding in climax during the rocking semi-malevolent “Fire Bomb”, before quickly taking stakes with Auto-Tune and will.i.am in the sweetly mystifying “Photographs”. Pop and electro-Caribbean may have been supplanted with raw-rock and darkened synth, but it’s hard to question it when it appears to work remarkably well across most if not all of the cuts.

The punchbowl array of production crews (StarGate/Chase & Status/Brian Kennedy/Ne-Yo) can be thanked for sculpting much of the album’s sensible diversity, placing much of Rihanna’s colour-palette brutally recognisable alongside her swayed vocal capabilities; here they’re everything between prominent deep Barbuda, sweetened timidity, harsh defiance and finally agony. Her self-composure during “Russian Roulette” and “The Last Song” for example make us viciously aware of how potential outcomes could have eventuated, whereas “Rude Boy” and “Rockstar 101” press upon the more physical side of human nature, with Rihanna fitting in accentuation appropriately at the seams. In each case, not only can she sound distressed, insolent, fun or saddened, the musical accompaniment and production style magnify her intensity across the board. So far ‘raw’ and 'angry’ have been the words of choice, but it’s certainly not quite as black-and-white as the cover art may suggest; this is more than a two-dimensional bag of emotions. In spite of all this, do be cautious while approaching the so-far designated singles as they are rather quaint in respect to their succeeding contemporary counterparts. “Wait Your Turn”, “Hard”, and “Stupid in Love” may as well have been regurgitated from the Girl Gone Bad sessions through tainted eyes. In the past this approach has worked well because she’s been a major singles staple – here taking the time to explore more than Universal’s 2007 ideal of Rihanna at her prime will more than likely reap satisfaction for the listeners of Rated R.



Recent reviews by this author
Arch Enemy War EternalCavern Cavern
Hans Zimmer The Dark Knight RisesPeriphery Periphery II: This Time It's Personal
Santigold Master of My Make-BelieveAge of Evil A.O.E.
user ratings (189)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Jonathan Kroening (3.5)
An album deep with solid tracks, Rated R finds Rihanna exploring post-relationship emotions in a mat...

Terron Moore (3)
At times, the toughness is too juvenile, the ballads too immature- but at others, it's a great repre...

David Driver (1.5)
What the hell happened to Rihanna? In the short two years since her monstrous breakthrough "Good Gir...


Comments:Add a Comment 
theacademy
November 23rd 2009



28225 Comments


members also liked: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=21551

taylormemer
November 23rd 2009



4913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been out here for three days. Love it. Brilliant.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 23rd 2009



10194 Comments


reaaaaaaaaaally?

Thor
November 23rd 2009



10175 Comments


Saw the video for Russian Roulette the other day and kinda hated it, and I thought some of her earlier stuff was decently fun too

Knott-
Emeritus
November 23rd 2009



10194 Comments


yah i usually enjoy her singles but a 4? emotionally fragile? might have to check this owt.

Waior
November 23rd 2009



11425 Comments


Yeah, I thought I'd rather be pulled over carpet tacks and dipped in rubbing alcohol than listen to a Rihanna record the whole way through but consider me convinced.

Roach
November 23rd 2009



2149 Comments


idk Rihanna is no Lady GaGa

she's not inherently bad though and has some pretty great tracks

cirq
November 23rd 2009



9263 Comments


I love rihanna

Fugue
November 23rd 2009



7351 Comments


Well I liked Good Girl Gone Bad so I'll be checking this out. The promise of a maturer sound is promising.

AlexTM510
November 23rd 2009



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

awesome review.

album does certainly rule

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2009



14982 Comments


"idk Rihanna is no Lady GaGa

she's not inherently bad though and has some pretty great tracks"


rihanna is way the fuck better than that stupid special-ed bitch

Roach
November 23rd 2009



2149 Comments


fuck no! way to be wrong

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2009



14982 Comments


haha look how weird and avant-garde my fashion sense is too bad my music is generic as fuck


i mean at least rihanna isnt a pretender or a try-hard with this whole ~im so weird~


and please don't stop the music is the best song ever

Roach
November 23rd 2009



2149 Comments


Lady GaGa's music is awesome, The Fame & The Fame Monster are way better albums than anything this broad has done

Rihanna has some kick ass singles though - please don't stop the music among others

shortz
November 23rd 2009



201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review, this is the first Rihanna CD I've heard and I really enjoy it.

BSX
November 25th 2009



1633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^

I hope you're kidding her last album had about 8 singles that were all over the radio and tv. This record is similar to Pink's Funhouse by half the songs being "I'm angry and tough" and the other have being ballads. . .

Digging: La Roux - Trouble In Paradise

ECRbubs
December 1st 2009



687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rude Boy is so good

dylantheairplane
December 6th 2009



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

im not one for R&B but this is pretty good

BSX
December 6th 2009



1633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is not R&B. . .

Fieryfenderz
December 7th 2009



1421 Comments


Chris Brown used this cd as motives for beating Rihanna. The jury ruled in favor of him.
*ba doom chhh*

in all seriousness, this isnt bad, just nothing new



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy