Rihanna – Loud

November 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM | Posted in Rihanna | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Rihanna – Loud

1. S&M
2. What’s My Name (feat. Drake)
3. Cheers (Drink To That)
4. Fading
5. Only Girl (In The World)
6. California King Bed
7. Man Down
8. Raining Men (feat. Nicki Minaj)
9. Complicated
10. Skin
11. Love The Way You Lie (Part II) (feat. Eminem)

♦ ♦ ♦

Loud is the fifth studio album by Barbadian singer Rihanna, and it was released on November 12, 2010. The album bears a Parental Advisory label. The album was received well during it’s first days of release.

The first track, S&M, has a bit of the same sound as the leading single ‘Only Girl (In The World)’. A very strong bass on each count, heavy synth and handclaps accompany Rihanna’s rough vocals. I can already hear this girl has improved a lot, since she sounds more confident and adult. The lyrics are a bit suggestive, guess what S&M stands for? Regardless, this is a very good opening song because it shows Riri’s diversity as an artist.

What’s My Name (feat. Drake) is so addictive, I can’t get enough of this song. It already starts with Drake’s rap, which I almost know by heart, and then Rihanna’s parts come in. The chorus is very catchy, just like Riri’s lines ‘oh na na, what’s my name?’. This track is more R&B/Hip-Hop styled, but it does feature that synth flavour, so it isn’t a huge step away from the previous track. It just has more of an island vibe to it, a real Bajan song. This song really got me singing along.

While the previous song got me singing along, Cheers (Drink To That) also really cracked me up! The ‘yeahs’ in the chorus are ripped from Avril Lavigne’s ‘I’m With You’, which might be a little far-fetched but still a good and original idea to spice up a song. The part that made me laugh so hard was Rihanna’s accent in the chorus (don’ let de bastards get ya dooon xD). Apart from that, the music is actually very good, just like Rihanna’s vocals on this one. Second fav in a row, people!

Fading starts of with a beautiful choir chanting ‘ooh’s’ in a lovely way, and at first this seems a ballad but actually it’s a midtempo R&B song (again, with such addictive beats). I praise Riri for her vocal acrobatics in this song (from chest voice suddenly to head voice, that’s really difficult if you wanna do it right!), and she made this song so… light. This makes me wonder if there’s ever gonna be a bad song on this album. Come on, four veeeery good ones in a row?

Like I said before, Only Girl (In The World) is her first real eurodance track. This track actually has a melody,  some good lyrics and very fiery vocals. Rihanna just keeps improving, and I love it that she decided to step out of her comfort zone. This track is very dance club ready with pumping beats, heavy bass lines and some very good synth arrangements, especially in the chorus. The chorus is my favourite part of the song, everything just comes together, and here Rihanna sounds best.

And now my all time favourite of the moment, California King Bed! Such a beautiful, heartfelt song by Rihanna and the one that shows off her wonderful vocals best! Once I read Rihanna can’t reach high notes with her low voice. Well folks, think again! I was completely surprised by Rihanna’s full chest voice belting, I never though she could do this! And the music, oh please stop talking. I’m addicted to the guitar solo, I’ve listened to this song over ten times because of a.o. that solo!

Man Down is a kind of a vague song in my opinion, and it might be used as a bit of a filler track because it doesn’t have anything special. Rihanna just relies on her origine with that funny accent again, and I wonder if she’s just kidding or if she’s really trying to be serious with this (Centrall Statian, pul de trigah etc.). The music is nice, but nah, this isn’t a big favourite. I can listen to it multiple times though, but just not in a row.

Next song makes up for everything that was wrong with Man Down! I love Raining Men (feat. Nicki Minaj) so much because of its heavy bass! It’s very heavy and so nice, and the rhythm pattern remind me of other R&B/Hip-Hop-like songs. It’s something I really love sometimes if I’m really in the mood for it. Rihanna lets herself go in a very good way, and I’ve come to appreciate rapper Nicki Minaj so much these past few months. One of the best songs on this album, for real!

I can’t really dig the beat of Complicated, it’s neither dance nor R&B. Ofcourse, it’s a nice song, it’s decent, but a beat can make or break a song in my opinion (yes, I know, beat addict). She brings back the flavour that was in songs like S&M and Only Girl (In The World), but those songs appealed more to me to be honest.

I don’t know why, but Skin reminds me a bit of the Rated R era because it’s so mysterious and a lot darker than the rest of the songs on this album. It’s a very slow R&B song with a haunting synth sound in the background, and maybe it’s also a bit seductive (if you listen to the lyrics carefully). Another reason why this track reminds me of the previous era, is the soft electric guitar riffs, which she also used a lot in her R&B songs back then. It takes me back, and I actually like that. After all, I’m an electric guitar lover, hehe.

Love The Way You Lie (Part II) (feat. Eminem) is actually a sequel to the original song, this time sung from the female perspective. I thought the original song with Eminem was addictive on its own, but this one is at least so addictive! It’s more musical because it features only a piano and drums and mostly Rihanna singing, Eminem only gets a verse in the middle of the song. He’s very agressive, oh my gosh. He almost scared me, hehe. The song sounds a lot like the original, but it’s so fresh and new all the same. I’m very satisfied with this one, another favourite on this album!

I was so surprised about how GOOD this album was, especially after Rated R, which was decent but not very spectacular. Rihanna’s first single off this album, Only Girl (In The World) was already a big surprise to me, because it was her first eurodance song. It made me so curious about this album, especially after the wonderful second single What’s My Name (feat. Drake). Each song has something new and/or special, some take you back to previous eras, some are one big step forward into the future. I can’t believe this was already Riri’s fifth (!) studio album, and I’m sure that the future material by her will even be better than this, how odd that may seem, she just keeps on improving herself and she’s still going full speed ahead with her career. Go on Riri!

Favorite track: What’s My Name (feat. Drake) | Cheers (Drink To That) | Fading | California King Bed | Raining Men (feat. Nicki Minaj) | Love The Way You Lie (Part II) (feat. Eminem)

OVERALL RATING

4½ stars

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