2. What’s My Name (featuring Drake)
3. Cheers (Drink To That)
5. Only Girl (In The World)
6. California King Bed
7. Man Down
8. Raining Men (featuring Nicki Minaj)
11. Love The Way You Lie [Part 2] (featuring Eminem)
A year after the release of her dark-themed album, “Rated R” and a series of public fiascos, R&B diva, Rihanna is back with another record which she calls “Loud”. With this effort, Ms. Fenti worked with some of today’s hottest record producers, including StarGate, The Runners, Polow da Don, Tricky Stewart and Alex da Kid which kinda explains the R&B-Hip Hop-Dancehall feel of the CD.
Critics claim that “Loud” brings back Rihanna to her dance roots, but STM says otherwise. There may be a few dance-inspired songs but most of the tracks in this effort are slow jams and R&B-driven love songs. Nonetheless, this effort is a big improvement, music-wise, from her lackluster album, “Rated R”. A number of tracks in “Loud” are single material and radio-friendly, most of them are at the first half of the CD. My only concern though is that there is a tendency to lose the “magic” of listening to this effort as mediocre tracks are all found in the second half of the album.
Personally, the best tracks in this effort are the slow jam “What’s My Name?” featuring rapper Drake; “Cheers (Drink To That)” which interpolates Avril Lavigne’s “I’m with You”; “Fading”; the tear-jerker ballad, “California King Bed”; and, the album’s explosive dance tracks, “Only Girl (In The World)” and “S&M” which are both reminiscent of Rihanna’s previous effort, “Disturbia”. And how could we forget “Love The Way You Lie (Part 2)” which is undoubtedly a lot better, lyric-wise, than its previous version. This new rendition features more vocals from Rihanna, not to mention the brand new lyrics and rap verse from Eminem.
Overall, STM finds this album “loud” but not quite. It is definitely a step-up from the mediocre sound of “Rated R” but not as awesome as “Good Girl Gone Bad”, which is arguably her best effort to date. I was actually expecting something that would best “Good Girl Gone Bad”, as the album title suggests that this effort would contain more of Rihanna’s signature dance-R&B-inspired jams but it just didn’t turn out that way. Nonetheless, Rihanna’s newest effort delivers but kinda lacks the solidity and club-friendly hits that “Good Girl Gone Bad” has.
REPEAT: S&M, What’s My Name?, Cheers (Drink To That), Fading, California King Bed, Only Girl (in The World), Love The Way You Lie (Part 2)
SKIP: Man Down, Raining Men, Skin