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Seven albums in seven years sounds incredible on paper. The biggest popstar on the planet. The biggest catalogue of hits. How does Rihanna do it? Simple - she doesn’t. Rihanna is first and foremost a brand, with the Barbadian babe just fronting Brand RiRi.
A team of writers, producers and stylists created ‘Rihanna’ and she is milking it for all she can. On one hand I say good on her, if you can make millions by doing as little as possible why the fuck not? Still, as somehow who buys into the ‘Rihanna’ brand I’d expect a little more effort with her seventh album.
When the pop standard (and frankly lazy) David Guetta collaboration (‘Right Now’) is the highlight, it is surely a sign to re-think what you’re putting out there. Add in the increasingly common ‘pop singer does dubstep’ track (‘Jump’) and the deeply personal ‘everyone can relate to this ballad’ lyrics sang by a woman who didn’t write them, you have a pretty disappointing album. Unapologetic should be called unoriginal.
I won’t go into the Chris Brown inclusion much because quite frankly pop’s two biggest attention seekers singing a song called ‘Nobody’s Business’ is too much of a cry for attention to deserve it. Go back to Chris if you like, I don’t care anymore, he isn’t going to punch me in the face.
Still, it’s not all bad. There are no ‘We Found Love’ or ‘Umbrella’-esque tracks to add to the greatest hits, but ‘Diamonds’ is a genuinely good song (thank you Sia). ‘Loveeeeee Song’ featuring Future is a delight, and both ‘No Love Allowed’ and ‘Lost In Paradise’ are an excellent finish to the record. Overall though, Unapologetic isn’t something you’ll remember once it’s over. It’s trying far too hard to be controversial. Truth though, there is only so many times someone can get naked and talk sex before all they are doing is boring you.