The Bajan babe has already scored a number one with one of the singles from the album, the incredibly dull, Diamonds. But with a song featuring the man who battered her, Chris Brown, and another called Love Without Tradegy/Mother Mary, is Rihanna sparking controversy rather than popularity?
One of the star’s best collaborations was with Eminem in 2010 with Love The Way You Lie, so you could only expect their single Numb to be just as hard-hitting and emotional. But with Numb you’re left feeling just like its title. With Rihanna saying “numb” more times than she famously repeated “Umbrella”, the song is more of an annoyance than a cracker.
But the more disturbing song on this album is Ri Ri’s duet with her ex Chris Brown, Nobody’s Business. Singing “You’ll always be mine, sing it to the world / Always be my boy, I’ll always be your girl”, it seems that although Chris beat her to a pulp, Rihanna seems to have forgiven him and doesn’t care who knows it.
But saying “I wanna be your baby” and “A life with you I want” are just pure cries of desperation and don’t make easy listening. The only light-hearted thing about this song is the backing music, which has quite a disco-esque tempo.
Just when you thought Rihanna couldn’t suck up to Chris Brown anymore, Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary is another chance for her to ‘talk’ to the Yeah 3x singer. Singing “Who knew the course of this one drive / Injured us fatally” is a chilling reminder of the night Chris beat her in his car on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February 2009.
Like Nobody’s Business, this track has a late 70s/80s-feel about it, and subtly mimics the sound that The Police were known for.
The standout track on the Unapologetic album, and probably the only one that’s worth giving more than one listen to, is Jump. Sampling Ginuwine’s classic Pony, the song features a few nice drops into a dubstep-like episode and some decent deep bass.
Rihanna has released too many songs too often and this album indicates she may be burning out. What she needs to do, for the sake of our ears, is take some time out and concentrate on making her next LP a bit more special.
Just don’t make it any time soon, Ri Ri.