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Who is Rihanna?
Rihanna: A Good Girl Gone Bad?
Who is Rihanna? Everyone loves Rihanna, right? In this article, you will be able to read my thoughts and opinions, track by track, for one of Rihanna's most successful albums Good Girl Gone Bad, as well as a bit of information about the lovely lady herself.
Ahhh, the beautiful Rihanna. Recently finished promoting her debut film Battleship, this lady has a multifaceted talent. Arguably one of the most successful pop singers of recent years, with number one singles galore, including the oh-so-catchy Umbrella (ella-ella-ella) that stayed on the top spot in the chart for 16 weeks in the UK alone...
I present to you a glorious page for of all things Rihanna, and a with particular focus on her hugely successful album, Good Girl Gone Bad.
Do you have a favourite Rihanna song?
Which Rihanna song is your favourite...be sure to let us know in the comments...
Rihanna, Please Don't Stop the Music... - Who is Rihanna? THIS is Rihanna...
When Rihana isn't posing naked for her latest fragrance, nude - you will find on your radio. When I first heard the debut release, 'Umbrella', from Rihanna's album, 'Good Girl Gone Bad', to say I didn't like it was an understatement. My impression of Rihanna, was 'there goes another RnB-er', yeah yeah, so what? 'Umbrella', annoyed me so much, especially the lyrics, which were just stupid ...UMBRELLA (ella-ella) doesn't rhyme with EVER, OTHER nor does WEATHER. Grrrr...Anyway, well, as much as I hate to admit it, the song actually began to grow on me. Then her next single 'Shut Up And Drive' came out, and I quite liked it. Then something happened to make me like her even more, it was the same thing that happened with me and Lily Allen (how did I draw a comparison, I hear you cry...read my Lily album review, and you'll see). I saw Rihanna on the 'Graham Norton Show' and 'The Friday Night Project', and well, she came across as really sweet and WITH A PERSONALITY...well I never! She was up for Graham mocking her 'Umbrella' with references to Nigella-ella-ella Lawson...Rihanna laughed along like mad, plus she had her leg in plaster and kept up with the promo on crutches, like a true pro. So begun my soft spot.
I also found myself getting hooked on her duet with NeYo, 'Hate That I Love You', and then her most recent single at the time, 'Don't Stop the Music' that samples one of my favourtie Michael Jackson songs ('Wanna Be Startin' Somethin')' won me over completely. Having my standard I-must-like-at-least-4-song-to-justify-buying-the- album (sad, I know, but they're so expensive) I looked for her album (released last summer) and whilst stateside and found the special edition 2CD in Target for a mere $10, around 5GBP - bargain! And on listening to it, I'm glad I bought it too!
Who Is Rihanna?
Rihanna (full name Robyn Rihanna Fenty), born in 1988 and comes from sunny Saint Michael in Barbados...where there is even a national holiday in her honour! 'Good Girl Gone Bad' is her 3rd and most successful album to date.
Selling 700,000+ copies in the UK, making it go double platinum, and selling over a million copies in the US and over 4 million worldwide! 'Good Girl Gone Bad' has been acclaimed by practically all industry publications, it's even done so well, as to re-release a special edition with a bonus CD, milk the success, why not?!
Now, arguably most famous for her song 'Umbrella' (not forgetting the 'ella-ella-ella's), it's interesting to note that this song was offered to Mary J.Blige, and after being refused, it eventually got given to Reana, lucky for her, as without it, I'm not sure this album would have done so well.
I love this fun interview with Rihanna - although pretty old now, but still a joy to watch :)
Another fun Rihanna interview...
Good Girl Gone Bad
My review of Rihanna's 3rd album, Good Girl Gone Bad, starts here...
Rihanna's 3rd Album Review Starts here:
Onto the album...
I review albums, by looking at each track and giving a rating out of 10. I use two categories to look at each song: 'Sound' and 'About' (simple eh?). As this is a 2 dics edition, I've reviewed CD1 track by track, and commented on CD2 as a whole, as it is remixes and I would end up repeating myself blah de blah.
1) Umbrella - 4.36 (Feat. Jay-Z)
(1st single release, in May 2007, reaching number 1 in UK)
"You're part of my entity, here for Infinity" (Altogether now...ella ella eh eh eh)
Sound: As if you didn't know already, this is the song that thrust Rihanna into limelight as an acclaimed solo artist. On first listen, we hear more of Jay-Z than Rihana, in a typical 'hey I'm a rapper, rap rap rap, here's Rihanna yeah yeah' (incase we weren't sure who's CD we had just bought???). Vocally, she isn't very strong, however her voice is distinctive, which I think is important for any solo artist. Melodically the verses are ok, with a rocky, metallic sound, leading into the oh-so catchy chorus, that anyone could sing along too, even if they hear the song for the first time. She makes annoying 'eh eh eh' sounds, which make me laugh, but hey (...let's hope French & Saunders do a spoof, they have lots of material here!) Towards the end of song, it builds to a crescendo to really blast into...another chorus, sounds kinda corny, but is effective in making this song more interesting than without it. I used to hate this song, but now I love it...plus it's a very good song to run to don't you know.
About: This song is basically about sharing. It's a love song to her partner or her friends, about how at the moment, she may be famous and be in magazines, but she is still the girl/partner/friend she was before it all happened. She wants to share her success. If times get hard and it doesn't work out (which she implies by 'it's raining'), she'll always be there and they'll have each other. The analogy for this sentiment, being the umbrella, she'll hold it over the ones she loves, so that they'll stay protected from the 'rain'.
2) Push Up On Me - 3.15
"The way that you stare starts the fire in me" (Either that, or she's standing too close to the radiators)
Sound: Initially, this has an edgy pop feel to it. On first listen, it made me think 'this is a good track' then it goes straight into a quite average verse. Hmm. It builds into a hook that is much more reflective of the brilliant intro, going into a chorus that weirdly isn't as good as the hook. Musically, it sounds almost like it's from the 80s with it's choice of instrumentation, but that isn't a bad thing. I quite like it, it's not as strong as 'Umbrella', but an adequate second track. It also samples the Lionel Richie song 'Running with the Night', oh la la.
About: Simply put, this song is about someone she fancies, how she wants them to 'push up on her'...no analogies here, plain and simple. She talks about how he's a gentlemen, confident and will treat her nicely, but she wants to break him down and just 'get on with it', it would seem. How demure!
3) Don't Stop The Music - 4.27
(4th single release, in February 2008, reaching number 4 in UK)
"Now we're rockin on the dancefloor actin' naughty" (well, she won't make Santa's nice list, behaving like that, will she!!)
Sound: Now, this is a tune! First time I heard this, I instantly fell in love with it. It made me wish I was a student again, for an excuse to go out and dance to this song every night. The start of the song, sounds almost anthemic, as if it's the start of a basketball game to get the crowds going, clapping and chanting along. The verse is strong, with a steady background beat that grows throughout, ready to take us kicking and screaming (with pleasure) into the chorus, as we begin to hear the sample of 'mama say mama sa ma-makossa' from Michael Jackson's 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', teasing us as Rihanna confidently sings her way through the chorus. At first the sample isn't as recognizable, but with every chorus it gets louder, until it's played on it's own, even with the odd subtle MJ 'heee heeee' and 'owww'. The strong beat reminds me of a flamenco dance, or even a pasodoble, as the passionate quality of the rhythm would lend itself well. Great song.
About: After a stressful day, she wants to go out and dance, but who'd have known she would find someone at the club she fancies and lo and behold they start dancing with each other. She finds that she is enjoying it and wants to take things further with her dance buddy, but for time being, they can dance, she likes that too, but hopefully they can dance for a long time, so mister DJ, please don't stop the music.
4) Breakin' Dishes - 3.21
"I'm roasting marshmallows on the fire and what I'm burning is your attire" (Well, that's what you get when you date a man who wears marshmallows, instead of proper clothes!)
Sound: Another electro style song, taking us into another chant, that reminds me more of a Xtina track. This is yet another song on the album, that makes me want to dance. The verses are musically strong and the chorus is beautifully repetitive with an arrangement that once again, reflects musical elements of the late 80s (I don't know why but it reminds of a ghost/monster film soundtrack song), yet brought up to date appropriately. Rihanna talk/sings in this song, with a sense that she is commanding and in charge of her band, and inevitably the audience. Another good'un here.
About: Basically Rihanna is going to start breaking dishes because she's had enough of the way she's being treated by her boyfriend. He comes home late and never checks to see how she is. Is he having an affair? So, she wants to have it out with him, big fighty and breaking dishes styley...whatever happened to the art of conversation, I don't know?
5) Shut Up And Drive - 3.33
(2nd single release, in August 2007, reaching number 5 in UK)
"I'm 0 to 60 in 3.5" (That's fast!)
Sound: Ouch...ANOTHER good track. The intro is strong and electric guitar heavy, which is a nice flavour that hasn't been used quite so forth rightly yet. Rihanna confidentally sings throughout. The verses sound almost like her voice has been altered to sound 'tinnier' than it has so far, which creates an interesting effect. We also hear screeches of tyres on asphalt, so we are given a sense of urgency and danger, helping to add a nice element of drama and tension to the track.
About: In this song, Rihanna is describing herself as a car. A fast, fine-tuned, super-sonic speed machine. She's asking the boy she fancies if he can handle such a piece of equipment before she 'gives him the keys', so to speak. When he has the keys, she just wants to 'drive'.
6) Hate That I Love You - 3.39 (feat. NeYo)
(3rd single release, in November 2007, reaching number 15 in UK)
"One of these days maybe your magic won't affect me" (Sounds like he has a wand like Harry P's)
Sound: By the time I got to this song, I thought, there has to a naff song next, we can't have 6 consecutive good songs, surely...but this is probably another one of my favourites. The song is duetted with the underrated and talented NeYo, who not only co-produced the album, but has also penned some amazing songs (for the likes of Beyonce, Leona Lewis, Janet Jackson and Mary J.Blige), so it's great that he gets to sing on a good song too. This is the album's 'love song/up-tempo ballad', so expect to hear sweet melodies, which strangely, contradict the sentiment completely, which is something I love so much about this song. The backing vocals throughout add a new sound to the album too. Musically, this song sounds softer, with use of acoustic guitar and strings, which complement the smooth and tender approach to vocal arrangement. I really like this one.
About: This is love song with a twist. The twist being that the two singers are in love with each other, so much to the point that they hate it. They hate how they can't have a proper argument, because a sideways glance and they're reminded how much they love each other. They can't stay angry with each other, as they know how to make each other happy. It's almost implying that before they got together they were strong and independent people, now they're so in love, they've grown some co-dependance instead. They say they hate it, but I bet they love it really.
Rihanna and Neyo's Hate That I Love You Video
7) Say It - 4.11
"So what are you tryna hide?" (Maybe the fact that you can't spell 'trying to'??)
Sound: Ok, so it goes downhill here. If I had heard this song on it's own out of context, I would guess it was a slow song written for Destiny's Child. I find this song dull in comparison to the rest of the album. Instrumentally, it sounds much more R'n'B with a solid beat and use of 'twinkly' synthesizer sounds and warbly vocals, both from Rihanna and backing. This is one to skip, I have no idea why it's so long either, time could have been best spent on other song, o dear!
About: Lyrically, this song is very simple, Rihanna is singing to her partner who is holding back from telling her something. She can sense it, so she's asking him to 'say it' and tell her what's on his mind. How profound!
8) Sell Me Candy - 2.46
"I know you're around like the ice cream man" (Hmm maybe he should stop playing that jingly nursery rhyme every 5 minutes then!)
Sound: This is the shortest song on the album at under 3 minutes! And on first listen, thank god is all I can. The start of this song is terrible. It sounds more dancehall than R'n'B or Pop, but if you like that, you may like this. As we go into the chorus, the song does get better, so I'm glad I didn't dismiss it completely. Unfortunately, the verses just sound so substandard, musically, to the point of irritation. The chorus is lyrically simple, yet sounds ok, with the aid of a sample of someone making a 'brrrr-yuhhh' sound (not sure what this is actually called) which works well. Not one of my favourites at all, but the song ends better than it starts, which is a bonus...?
About: Lyrically, I find this song rather abstract. Either the boy she fancies is like candy, so she wants to 'buy' him. Or she wants his love, she thinks he's like candy, so with every move he makes, she wants to him, so will buy the candy (that is him). Well, whatever, it's about love and wanting it, candy or not.
9) Lemme Get That - 3.41
"I keep em singing" (Poor Emma, is all I can say)
Sound: This song is a like a journey to Reggae and Dancehall-land, if there is such a place. Strong rhythmic beats and trumpet blasts. However, I wouldn't mind this song, if it wasn't for the way Rihanna sings 'FURRN-I-TUUUURRRRE' in a thick and exagerrated Barbadosian accent, which irritates me. Just a personal thing. I bet there are loads of people who love this song, but it doesn't do it for me. I like the drumming though.
About: I found it hard to understand exactly what she's singing about, but what I take from this song, is that she has lots of money, so doesn't need looking after when taken out. She can pay for things too, she can 'get that'.
10) Rehab - 4.55
"You were my favourite drug, the only problem is that you were using me in a different way" (Ouch!)
Sound: On first listen, this sounds certainly a great deal more melodious than the last. It's like another upbeat ballad in terms of temperament. There is a greater sense of soul and pop, in approach. It's the longest song on the album, thankfully it's gentle on the ear and very pleasant to listen to, so that's not a problem. Towards the end of the song we hear male vocals too, which at first sounder like a 'rent-a-rapper', but the voice seems to used more as an instrument to add further interest of layers into the song. I like this one, not the best on the album by far, but it's a strong enough tune. Interestingly, the vocal is from Justin Timberlake.
About: This is about a break-up. In the relationship, she was so in love with the guy that he was like her drug, now that he's left her, she feels like she needs rehab to help her get over him.
11) Question Existing - 4.07
"Do the mistakes I make, make me a fool, or a human with flaws?" (Where's Jeremy Kyle when we need him?)
Sound: Urgh! The start of this song creates an audio version of a head-ache! It's sung so laboriously and slow. The chorus also feels contrived and boring. I just want to speed it up, it might work better that way? Vocally, this is the weakest track, put it this way, if this was the first Rihanna song you ever heard, you probably wouldn't listen to another by her! Towards the end of the song, she talks, which is probably the only good part of the track. She creates a sense of vulnerability, plus it's nice to hear her NATURAL Barbadosian accent. This song was originally offered to girl group 'Danity Kane', but the clever minxes thought it was too slow, and I agree. I don't like this song. Skip it!
About: This is a very introspective song, and in places it can be quite uncomfortable to listen to, with lines like 'Sometimes it feels like they want me to lose, it's entertainment, it's bad and that's truth'. She is questioning her existence, she's a celebrity, but she wants to be normal. There is a cheesy moment when she addresses her diary, and interestingly she uses her first name, Robyn, ooo!
12) Good Girl Gone Bad - 3.35
"Now she in the club witta freaky dress on" (well, maybe it's Halloween!)
Sound: Thankfully the albums end of a good note. A nice little pop song with acoustic guitars, strings and good drum beat. The chorus uses harmonies that haven't really been showcased so far, so vocally, we hear another side to Rihanna. The chorus is also more distinctive than the verses and has a sing-along-ability about it, which is handy as it is the title track of the album. A sweet sounding song that finishes the album nicely.
About: In this track, Rihanna sings about how it's important to look after a girl (when in a relationship) otherwise they'll turn bad, and once that happens, they stay bad forever...so she says. I guess it's about nurturing love and doing the right thing, if things go bad, then deal it with in a mature manner. We wouldn't want Rihanna going bad now, would we?
There's even more to RIhanna's Album
There is a special edition of GOOD GIRL GONE BAD...with MORE tracks! Ooooo yes!
Rihanna's Disturbia Video - Some versions of the 3rd album also contains this...
Another global smash hit, from this album, 'Disturbia', reaching the golden number one spot in the UK in September 2008.
To be honest, CD2 isn't anything to rave about. It contains mixes and some rare tracks, as well as a welcome return of the mighty 'SOS' (from her last album). If you are a massive Rihanna fan, then this is for you, but if you like only a couple of tracks, I would stick with the regular CD version.
1) Umbrella (Seamus Haji and Paul Emanuel club remix)
2) Breakin' Dishes (Soul Seekerz remix)
3) Don't Stop The Music (Wideboys club mix)
4) Question Existing (Wideboys club mix)
5) Hate That I Love You (K-Klassic remix)
6) Push Up On Me (Moto Blanco club mix)
7) Good Girl Gone Bad (Soul Seekerz remix)
8) Haunted (Steve Mac classic mix)
9) Say It (Soul Seekerz remix)
10) Cry (Steve Mac classic mix)
11) SOS (Digital Dog remix)
CD 2: MY ALBUM RATING: 6/10
My CDs came in a beautifully presented, card sleeve (makes for a lighter carrier bag - joy), that folds out into 2 pockets, and a poster sized inlay, with pictures and musical credits. The black design, adds a classy feel and the photography is beautiful, showing Rihanna in a much more, mature light.
Conclusion to Rihanna's album "Good Girl Gone Bad":
This album is like a mini journey through different hybrid genres of music, it starts R'n'B, visits a bit of Pop, with a lick of soul, a flirt with Reggae and Dancehall then blended with a nice taste of R'n'B, which in all honestly, I like and find refreshing, and it's always good to hear new genres and styles of music, especially if they are unfamiliar. All I can remember from her last album is 'SOS' (on CD2 also), a dancehall, poppy, R'n'B tune, that makes this album feel like a true extension of Rihanna's growth as an artist. This also leads me to think that this album is part of her maturation as a person, at times showing the gritty realities of being a celebrity. Rahinna done good!
I only bought the double CD as I got it so cheap, but I wouldn't pay over 10GBP for it. I've seen it in some shops for as much as 20GBP! I would only ever listen to CD2 once in a while, and only for background noise. If you're just curious about listening to this album, stick to the original 1CD album version, which can be bought cheaply online. All in all this is a solid album and I would recommend it.
- Rihanna's Official Website
Rihanna's Official Website - find out about all things Rihanna here!
- Rihanna's Official Myspace page
Listen to her music, and chat with other Rihanna fans.
- Rihanna poses naked for her fragrance Nude - NYPOST.com
It was only fitting that Rihanna would name her newest fragrance Nude, considering that the singer has a penchant for tweeting photos of herself in little to no clothing.
- Rihanna hospitalized for exhaustion after Met Gala - NYPOST.com
Rihanna was hospitalized following the Met Costume Institute Gala on Monday night.
- Rihanna - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
What does Wiki say about Rihanna?
Buy Rihanna's Movie BATTLESHIP here...
Who is Rihanna? Well, here is her new movie: Battleship - Check it out...
Rihanna has recently turned her hand to acting. In the movie release of 2012, check out the trailer for her new movie.
Have you seen Rihanna in Battleship yet?
How is Battleship as a film? Personally, I enjoyed it. It was a fun, blockbuster with just enough cheese and drama to make a trip to the movies, an entertaining one. But...what did you think?
Did you enjoy it? Would you recommend it?
Rihanna Does the Movies
Should Rihanna just stick to the music?
The stunning video for Rihanna and Coldplay's "Princess of China".
Rihanna shows us, once again, why she is amongst the best pop artists of the moment.