Rihanna (pronounced RI-ANNA, not RI-ONNAH) just released her very red and very floral new album LOUD. With all the color and flowers and happiness and everything, it’s basically the exact opposite of Rated R. Remember how creepy and dark that album was?
Usually it takes me a few good listens to really get into a new single. But I couldn’t stop blasting “Only Girl (In the World)” from the first “la la la laaaahh.” I love when she uses her “big” voice and is all, WANT YOU TO MAKE ME FEEL/LIKE I’M THE ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD!!! Scream it, girlfriend. “Only Girl” is the perfect blend of poptronica, autotune and synthesizers. And if that’s the lead single, I thought, LOUD should be a really fun dance record.
LOUD opens with “S&M,” a song about whips and chains and thumping bass beats, so get ready to hear it at every gay bar you go to. “What’s My Name?” is surprisingly likable, if you’re feeling a mid-tempo jam. But “Cheers (Drink to That)” is the dumbest song on earth. I mean, the beat is really cool and everything. I just wish she were singing totally different words. “Cheers to the Freakin’ Weekend/Drink to that.”
Really? Can’t do any better than that, writers?
After that it’s kind of “meh” for me, until “Complicated,” probably the loudest song on the album. And then there’s “Man Down,” the surprise pop-out single on the whole record. Everybody knows that our floral heroine hails from the Caribbean, and here Rihanna really plays up her accent and the effect is cool.
Now if she could just master the art of singing in tune when performing live, we’ll be all set!