Thursday 3 January 2013

RFT Music Reviews - Rihanna: Unapologetic

Lyrics: 2.5/ 5.0 - Production: 4.0/5.0 - Overall Score: 3.3/5.0

Review by Reesh - Get at me on Twitter - @MrReesh

No matter what you think about Rihanna artistically, she's frickin’ famous. And not just singer famous, I'm talking disease famous; there's probably more people on the planet who know Rihanna than people who know bubonic plague. But like bubonic plague, not all famous things are good, so how does Unapologetic, the 68 billionth album by Rihanna do? Well the answer is I'd rather have Unapologetic than bubonic plague, but I still wouldn't be you know, ecstatic about it. 

As you can see I never had a bagel today, meh.

One thing that hit me almost instantly about the album was the force of the production behind it - some of the beats are maaaad. From the “YEAAAH HOMIE, YEAAAAH HOMIE” type beat Fresh Off The Runway to Carlton Dance inducing Nobody's Business or the ominous Asia infused melodies of Numb there are some beats on this ting, jheeeeze. But, that doesn't mean every beat is good. No Love Allowed an Jump really kill it for the team, with No Love Allowed being a real shame as lyrically it's the best song on the album. As for Jump, hmph, I'll get to that monstrosity soon. 

But what of the vocals? Well it's Rihanna, you either love her or hate her. To me in the majority of songs here her voice isn't really noteworthy in a negative or positive way, it's just sort of... there. Saying that, I found her voice particularly good in Diamonds as well as Stay, as here you feel as though she's actually singing rather than just using her voice. Occasionally she likes to do annoying little nuances with her speech though, like in the start of Nobody's Business she chooses to say "ain't nobody's bidneh" which can be supremely cringetastic, though these are minor gripes. 

Your face after that pun
Lyrically Unapologetic is weak and I won't apologise for saying it - lololololol see what I did there. Some songs are decent, like the imagery charged Diamonds, or storyteller No Love Allowed, as well as some lines in other songs like Stay or What Now, though some songs are simply not meant to be listened to for the lyrics. For example, despite the amazing beat and Eminem's similarly well delivered verse, Rihanna's songwriting on Numb is purely filler that gets you from A to B in the track.  The braggadocio infused Power It Up is in a very similar vein, being one of those songs you sing with friends when you're drunk enough to sing yet broke enough to not get more drinks to start singing Baywatch

But then there's Jump - holder of the RFT Worst Song of 2012 award. I don't know what this 'song' is supposed to be, with poor song writing, a lacklustre dubstep beat, and for some strange, catastrophically bizarre reason Rihanna sings the chorus of Ginuwine's Pony as the chorus, and sings it poorly at that. I'm convinced this song is not of this dimension. Maybe it was sent from another world to destroy ours kind of
like Galactus, I don't know, but this song is just... horribledisgustrendous.

Your face after I used that pun again
But despite the gripes I may have with Unapologetic, it's not a bad album, it's just decisively average and hyped. See the thing about Rihanna is that she knows how to make a song sound good. Like if you got her to make a song from your shoe size it would be maaaad catchy, and a top 5 chart hit. But it's essentially placebo music - it sounds wonderful, but when you really look into it there's no substance, or a lack of substance. Well at least that seems to be the case for a lot of Unapologetic, and I won’t APOLOGISE for giving my view on the matter - LOLOLOLOLOL I DID IT AGAIN!

My Top 3:
1) Diamonds
2) Nobody's Business
3) Stay

Photo Credits:
Bagels photo "homemade bagels" by Calweb

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