That Rihanna reign just won’t let up! “Unapologetic” dropped today; check the review after the jump.
1. “Phresh Out The Runway”
Great way to start the album with a sick beat! Rihanna is getting her rap on and the chorus is very catchy. She talks about doing what she wants and looking fly. This is an instant hit, getting anyone hype from the car to the club.
Being the first song released from the album, most are familiar with the track. It still goes hard. Rihanna reveals her dark side in this eerie song about love. She really expresses herself and listeners can feel her emotion. This song will never get old and has the versatility to be played almost anywhere.
3. “Numb” (featuring Eminem)
This song is about that ROCKSTAR life, drinking to the point of feeling numb. Rihanna is talking about being wasted beyond wasted. Eminem reverted back to his old fun flow of switching his voice and speed throughout the verse. This track is another one with extreme hit potential.
4.”Pour It Up”
The beat sounds similar to Future’s “Turn Off The Lights.” Being a live club song, Rih talks about getting money and making it rain in the club. “Throw it up, pour it up” are lines of the chorus and while listening you definitely have the urge to make it rain, even if the dollars are invisible.
5. “Loveeeeeee Song” (featuring Future)
I really don’t understand why artists continue to give Future features. He usually makes the song worse. Future completely ruined this good track. The auto tune on his voice drowns out the song and clashes with Rihanna’s. A fairly good love song would have been great if she collaborated with someone else.
This song definitely sounds like a message to Chris Brown. “When you f*ck them other girls, I bet they be wondering why you always call my name.” Oop! Shade was thrown, but this song is one of the best on the album. With the chorus from Ginuwine’s “Pony,” Rih makes it darker and adds a sick techno sound. Techno heads will love this track because the beat build up and breakdown go together perfectly. The rap hook fits well and the “jump on it” breakdown ends the song in the best way.
7. “Right Now” (featuring David Guetta)
This is another heavy techno banger. Singing “all we have is right now,” it is clear that the moral is to enjoy the present. The techno breakdown makes it impossible to sit still while listening. Lyrically, the song could have been stronger, but overall Rihanna has another successful hit.
8. “What Now”
This song is about trying to figure out what now is going wrong. The whole song itself though is wrong. Rihanna is screaming way too much in the chorus. Vocally, she is straining and doesn’t sound good at all. Dragging on and adding a guitar behind the vocals was too much. This is my least favorite song on the album.
9. “Stay” (featuring Mikky Ekko)
This is a slow sweet ballad about wanting your lover to stay. Mikky Ekko was a nice addition. His and Rihanna’s voices both compliment each other and the song flowed. Vocally, Rih isn’t straining but sounds more natural.
10. “Nobody’s Business” (featuring Chris Brown)
The beat sounds like old school R&B, something you could do a two-step to. This is Rihanna and Chris Brown’s message to the world that what they do is their business. Chris was hitting high notes and was channeling Michael Jackson in his vocals. A nice change from the hard techno, this is a smooth track that can still make you dance.
11. “Love Without Tragedy/ Mother Mary”
Giving us about 6 minutes of music, this is essentially a 2 song for one deal. “Love Without Tragedy” asks just that, and Rihanna compares herself to tragic stars like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. The beat slows for “Mother Mary” with a darker tone. Singing about dying in the moment, you can feel the emotions in the song.
12. “Get It Over With”
This is another slower, smooth song talking about anticipation. It’s nothing special though, seeming like an album filler to bulk up the track list.
13. “No Love Allowed”
Rihanna fulfilled her one reggae song quota with this track. It’s a slow reggae joint, and notice Rihanna always talks about murder in these types of songs. I personally think “Man Down” was way better.
14. “Lost In Paradise”
Another filler, this song doesn’t have a powerful effect like other tracks. The beat has a rock influence, which is different, but the content is the same. This was a weak song to end the album with.
15. “Half of Me”
Rihanna really opens up in this track about being judged when people don’t even really know who she is. I felt for her, as being a celebrity comes with great perks but terrible criticisms. This song should have been included on the regular album, replacing a sub par track. One of the most honest songs by Rihanna to date.
16. “Diamonds” (Dave Aude 100 Extended)
A beat switch-up, this version of the song is faster than the original. A hip-hop feel to the beat took away the darkness, but it does switch to a soft techno beat for the chorus. Although the mix was nice, it wasn’t necessary.
17. “Diamonds” (Gregor Salto Downtempo Remix)
This mix isn’t as good as the first one. The beat is slower, but doesn’t fit with Rihanna’s tempo of singing. Again, it was unnecessary and the original version of the song is best.
“Unapologetic” is the perfect title because Rihanna lets us know who she is with no qualms. This is one of the realist albums Rihanna has released in that we hear her side of life. With blogs and tabloids constantly critiquing her, it is nice to hear a response through the album. As a whole however, the album starts off great but doesn’t end as strongly. Beginning with hard techno beats and then ending with slower songs creates an imbalance. Also, the ballads tend to be repetitive in the subject matter of heartbreak. The deluxe version isn’t worth the extra money because only one song is good out of the three, and it makes no sense to pay for two mediocre remixes. I still would recommend buying the regular album though because the songs that are hot are HOT! I was expecting a little more from Rihanna, but the album isn’t a major disappointment.
Fav tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10
Overall grade: B-