Rihanna
Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded


4.0
excellent

Review

by AtavanHalen USER (181 Reviews)
September 7th, 2008 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The hits just keep on coming.

“The second she walked into the room”, says Jay-Z, “I knew she was a star”. A big claim, certainly, but that young Barbadian girl delivered above and beyond the hip-hop legend’s prediction. Her name was Robyn Rihanna Fenty, later to be known soley by her middle name. Over the past few years, she has been one of the most familiar faces in pop music, but also one of the more respectable.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Fenty is the real deal- a genuinely gifted singer and an energetic performer with an uncanny ear for hit singles. This success has reached boiling point with her latest album, 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad, which followed hot on the heels of 2006’s A Girl Like Me and 2005’s Music of the Sun. As this is written, the album has sold over two million copies in the United States alone. Just over a year after its release, another idea came through- what better time to make good use of Rihanna’s newfound superstardom" With this notion intact, Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded was born. Whilst easily dismissible as a cash-in, there are a handful of surprises after the record’s usual end that will entice the listener into rediscovering the album.

Good Girl, on its own, has not lost one bit of quality since last time around. Every single track has the foundations of a smash hit, and half of them already have made good on this. The unquestionable highlight of both the singles released and the album itself is the song you know all too well by now- opener “Umbrella”, featuring that unmistakable cameo introduction from the aforementioned Jay-Z. The song is an infectious slice of modern pop ingenuity, with unmistakable hi-hat clasps and dripping synth wavers that push Fenty’s voice to its smoothest and sassiest. You could waste your time pretending that you’ve never enjoyed the song, but everyone from Children of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho to the Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer would know you were lying.

“Shut Up and Drive”, meanwhile, pits forceful electric guitar with a twirling electropop beat with shockingly formidable results; and “Don’t Stop the Music” is the album’s ultimate dance track, a neon trance high on syncopated handclaps, a charging bassline and a fantastically placed sample of “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”. Even the normally lacklustre Ne-Yo makes an excellent turn on “Hate That I Love You”, sizing up rather well to his female counterpart in a lovelorn duet that makes good use of a simple acoustic guitar chord progression and stellar vocal interplay.

Even in non-single territory, Good Girl Gone Bad continues to impress significantly- yet another attribute to Fenty’s star quality, in addition to her A-list team. “Breakin’ Dishes” is an empowering tirade against a suspicious lover, flaunting a sassy chorus (“I’m breaking dishes up in here all night!/I ain’t gonna stop until I see police lights!”) and hooks aplenty away from it. Near the end of the record, at the other end of the spectrum, “Question Existing” proves to be the biggest musical challenge for Fenty- a dark, 6/8 minimalist track with introspective confessional lyrics and some of the best production on the album. Whilst certainly without the energy or creativity of “Umbrella”, the song is nevertheless a standout of her career thus far.

The diversity of Rihanna’s abilities is exemplified perfectly by the one-two of the knee-dropping reggae flavour of “Lemme Get That”, featuring a quirky rap verse from the lady herself, followed by the quaint acoustic finger-picking and sentimental lyrical analogy of “Rehab” (thankfully not an Amy Winehouse cover- they’re both fantastic, but it simply wouldn’t work). Pop music is a very wide spectrum, and Rihanna has her mark firmly made in much of its territory.

The album proceeds to “Reload” with three additional bullets. Of these, it is the metropolitan robo-pop of “Disturbia” that hits closest to the target. Layering her voice with both low-key backing vocals and the extravagant Cher Effect, Rihanna paints a fragile picture of a paranoid and insecure state of mind- “I’ve got to get out/Or figure this shit out/It’s too close for comfort”. With a driving beat and an infectious scat hook, it’s no surprise to see that “Disturbia” is yet another hit under Fenty’s belt. Even if you already own the record, this track is worth the selling price alone.
“Take a Bow” is, put quite simply, average in comparison to its peers. The song is a fairly unremarkable Beyonce-styled affair, with a dull snap beat accompanying some nice enough piano work. Fenty makes her vocals loud and clear, as always, yet fails to intrigue and entertain the listener in the way that she is able to. Lastly, “If I Never See Your Face Again” revamps the opener of Maroon 5’s excellent 2007 album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. The song’s sexual tension- thickly layered to begin with by obvious Prince fan Adam Levine- takes on a whole new meaning when it is transformed into a heated duet. Whilst the entire affair does seem a little unnecessary, especially given the quality of the original, it certainly makes for an interesting listen.

Good Girl Gone Bad is, quite simply, the best mainstream pop record released by any female for quite some time. Not even Madonna or Britney have enticed the listener with such pop delights in recent years. And now that the album is Reloaded, you’ve basically got no excuse to not give this a listen.



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user ratings (110)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
IdiotTech (3)
Overall, the album has some of the best pop-tunes ive heard in a while, and i can see keeping some ...



Comments:Add a Comment 
bustyagunz
September 7th 2008


911 Comments


I'm not a fan, but I can at least see that this is really catchy and leagues above the rest of pop. Good review.

Platonism
September 7th 2008


168 Comments


Um.

bustyagunz
September 7th 2008


911 Comments


plato, its pop, its not supposed to sound like Immortal Technique, nor appeal to the same audience.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2008


22485 Comments


Well sold Dave. Very well put together review that flowed really well.
You may need to fix up the paragraphs towards the end as it appears the formatting was off for whatever reason. Also, I am unsure the last line reads correctly. Shouldn't it be "you’ve basically got no excuse to NOT give this a listen".

MrHell
September 7th 2008


157 Comments


I hate Rihanna with an ambition. She has a good voice, but there's something I can't stand about her. Oh well, good review.

kattunlover69
September 7th 2008


1194 Comments


wdf man rhiana is fucking HOT wdf you mean u cant stand her

MrHell
September 7th 2008


157 Comments


Yeah, thats the thing. She's hot, but thats about the only thing driving her career along.

kattunlover69
September 7th 2008


1194 Comments


i heard rumors that jay-z was caught giving her head once, zomg rumors

MrHell
September 7th 2008


157 Comments


LOL!!!

rasputin
September 7th 2008


14968 Comments


I love me some Rihanna.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 7th 2008


3912 Comments


Rihanna is a pop goldmine. Except the poor girl has no idea how to dress herself. She always looks bad in her music videos.

Digging: Ghostface Killah - The Lost Tapes

rasputin
September 7th 2008


14968 Comments


Most of us aren't looking at her dress.

AtavanHalen
September 7th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Her voice is pretty ****, it's the beats that keep her going. And her titties...


Legs, dude, legs!

taylormemer
September 7th 2008


4962 Comments


...This Message Edited On 10.03.08

Duderino
September 7th 2008


830 Comments


I heard this is better than As The Roots Undo, is that true?

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 7th 2008


3912 Comments


Most of us aren't looking at her dress.


Oh I know, but thats my problem, shes hot, but she could look even better.

MrHell
September 7th 2008


157 Comments


The problem is she has too many hits.

What ever happened to the days where you only release one single off your album and still get 16 Million copies sold?

*cough* Muse *cough*This Message Edited On 09.07.08

Platonism
September 7th 2008


168 Comments


Okay let me rephrase... 4/5 for Rihanna are you kidding?

metaldude666
September 7th 2008


111 Comments


The problem is she has too many hits.

What ever happened to the days where you only release one single off your album and still get 16 Million copies sold?

*cough* Muse *cough*


that is probably the stupidest argument i have ever heard

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 7th 2008


3912 Comments


It's a solid pop album.



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