04:00PM ET November 24th, 2010
Contributor: Jecquea Howsie
A Rocky Williform Company
Finally over the depression and darkness, Rihanna’s new album rings loud and clear, proving that at 22 years old, she’s a fun fearless woman in love. Switching gears from Rated R, Rihanna gives her audience a taste of her sexier side with Loud.
A little role play never hurt anyone. However, opening your album with a song titled “S&M” probably wasn’t the best thing. The song chronicles her love of donning dominatrix outfits and the excitement she gets from being whipped and chained. Although, with lines like “sex in the air…I like the smell of it,” backed by a techno Lady GaGa-esque beat, Rih Rih fails to excite her audience—if in fact that’s what she was trying to do.
After sex--comes more sex, of course! With a track listing that reads like a one night stand, Rihanna follows-up “S&M” with “What’s My Name” featuring Drake. The reggae infused beat definitely serves its purpose. Despite having a deep melodic voice, Drake prophesying what he can accomplish in 20 minutes is laughable, and surely won’t make any woman open with anticipation.
Commanding attention on and off stage, her chart-topping single “Only Girl” rounds out the first half of her album; in spite of toasting to the good life on “Cheers”, the second half fades quicker than the heartfelt ballad bearing the same name. Belting out “California King Bed”, which happens to be one of the best songs on the album, Rihanna sings about a relationship that’s run its course; once they were best friends, now they’re strangers.
Consequently, “Man Down” sounds like it was supposed to be on Rated R. It’s weird, twisted and dark—who celebrates getting away with murder. Despite being Barbie-clad with Nicki Minaj, “Raining Men” doesn’t live up to the original version and completely misses the mark.
With a limited vocal range, it was nice for Rihanna to explore being more Beyonce-ish and attempt to hit high notes with “Complicated”. The lyrics are very true and most women will be able to identify with a relationship with a guy that’s very hard to love.
More than willing to continuously explore her sexuality and relationships, the red-haired beauty rounds out her album with “Skin” and “Love the way You Lie.”