Rihanna
Loud


2.5
average

Review

by David Driver USER (75 Reviews)
March 16th, 2011 | 13 replies | 3,965 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A return to mediocrity.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

When Rihanna’s last effort, 2009’s Rated R, was a commercial flop and critically lukewarm, I truly thought that she was a goner: you don’t get many second chances in pop, as producers and song-writers usually jump ship on artists who can’t cash in. She managed, however, to scrape by with little support of her album (where the only successful single was “Rude Boy”) and decided to rely on being “that girl” during choruses of other songs, keeping herself popular by showing up in Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West songs throughout the past year. And to ensure that Rated R was just a distant memory in our minds, Rihanna quickly dropped Loud in 2010, her fifth album in six years. Does Loud signify a “return” for Rihanna as a solo artist, or does it amplify all the bad memories from Rated R?

Rated R was really a disappointing turn for Rihanna, and it was pretty easy to see why: when the girl best known for the upbeat “Umbrella” switches gears and starts mourning and sulking on “Russian Roullette”, people are bound to react unfavourably. Thankfully, Loud sets out to combine the two styles, mixing upbeat music with more brooding lyrics. The album’s opener, “S&M”, is a fairly run-of-the-mill club hit, but it’s what Rated R should have been: darker, more sadistic lyrics, but still keeping a feel-good dance vibe. It seems like “S&M” is Rihanna making a statement to reassure listeners that, yes, unlike my last album, you can actually have a fun while listening to this.

And for the most part, Loud gets a lot of things done right. Along with “S&M”, “Only Girl (In The World)” is one of Rihanna’s catchiest songs, complete with an enthusiastic chorus, big beats and towering synths. Both “Fading” and “California King Bed” are well-done, soulful ballads, completely free of the sulking tone that was found throughout Rated R’s more slower songs. But the crown jewel of the album, by far, goes to “Love The Way You Lie
Part 2”, where the song acts as an artistic sequel to the popular Eminem song last year. Not only does Eminem contribute perfectly on the track, but Rihanna probably has her best performance here as well.

But as with most pop albums, there’s always the seedy underbelly of low-quality filler. “What’s My Name”, has a disastrously unimaginable chorus (Oh-na-na, what’s my name?), and Drake stumbles at the plate in his guest appearance. “Cheers (Drink To That)” tries to be interesting by sampling Avril Lavigne, but seems to crawl throughout the boring four minute run-time. “Complicated” and “Skin” are go-nowhere filler tracks, while songs “It’s Raining Men” and “Man Down” have some weird Rastafarian bounce to it that never really does either track any favours.

In terms of pop music, Loud is really nothing special, but for Rihanna, it’s a huge step forward. In what can be described as a successful marketing strategy, Loud erases all the bad memories of her previous album and successfully establishes Rihanna once again as a prominent solo artist. Truth be told, I have no idea where her evolution will take her from here, but as long as she plays it safe, she’ll be cranking out feel-good pop tracks for years to come.



Recent reviews by this author
Johnny Foreigner You Can Do BetterRussian Circles Memorial
Pelican Forever BecomingCloudkicker Subsume
Kesha WarriorEllie Goulding Halcyon
user ratings (198)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
xXProdigyRaverXx (3.5)
Return to her tropical roots...

Dylan S. (3)
Rihanna. Exactly as you would expect her to sound....

caiocoletti (3.5)
You may not like it, but Loud is the most authentic Rihanna album, and a proof that the Barbadian si...

SowingSeason EMERITUS (3.5)
Rihanna likes it rough....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Beauville88
March 16th 2011



209 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I can't believe this is the fifth album in six years for her. Maybe she should take a breather.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
March 16th 2011



14511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree she isn't what she used to be but I still found this to be really enjoyable. Maybe it was just all the sexual references in her songs though I don't know.

Gyromania
March 16th 2011



14647 Comments


You're a sucker for sexual references, eh? I'm with David, this seems really average to me.

Counterfeit
March 16th 2011



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what sowingseason said

Maniac!
March 16th 2011



26187 Comments


Feit actually never listened to this. He just stared at her boobs.

Tyrael
March 16th 2011



20394 Comments


Can you blame him?

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

Strider
March 16th 2011



4598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules for the most part. Rihanna managed to set up a dance album without sounding gimmicky, I respect that

iFghtffyrdmns
March 16th 2011



7047 Comments


nice read, but can't say I'm a Rihanna fan. she is marginally sexy though.....

Counterfeit
March 16th 2011



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not true. I did both.

Titan50
March 16th 2011



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is the only Rihanna album I've listened to front to back, and I was pleasantly surprised. She's since become one of my favourite pop artists

Maniac!
March 16th 2011



26187 Comments


With one hand, feit?

OutOfMyself
March 16th 2011



688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Best Rihanna album
also shes hot as fuck in all of the lights video and i love her shirt [1234567890000000000000000000000000000000]

demigod!
March 16th 2011



40970 Comments


"A return to mediocrity"

She never left it



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