When will Rihanna’s ninth album arrive? As we proceed to hope and pray that it lastly lands this 12 months, the famous person herself continues to troll us with promises of new songs dropping soon. We’d quit and transfer on if it was anybody lesser than our Bajan queen however, over the past 16 years, she’s confirmed that she’s greater than definitely worth the wait. Whereas we preserve all the things crossed Riri lastly rewards our (im)endurance earlier than the tip of 2021, let’s have a look again at her albums thus far. Which one will come out on high?
‘A Woman Like Me’ (2006)
For her second album, Rihanna didn’t stray too removed from the sound of predecessor ‘Music Of The Solar’. Actually, the entire document felt like she was following the identical blueprint – open with an simple banger (‘SOS’), throw in some extra understated however nonetheless good songs (‘We Trip’, ‘Untrue’), and high it off with slower cuts that sadly don’t meet the bar set by the remainder of the tracklist. One of many later, ‘Closing Goodbye’, is most notable for a vocal melody that isn’t 1,000,000 miles away from Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ however, sadly, doesn’t come shut within the tacky basic stakes.
‘Music From The Solar’ (2005)
Rihanna shot out of the gates all the best way again in 2005 with ‘Music Of The Solar’, a debut album that – because the title suggests – captured the sun-kissed sounds of her native Barbados. Reggaeton beats and dancehall swagger co-exist alongside pop and R&B, cementing a summery first step from a then-future famous person. The tracklist boasts Riri’s good debut single ‘Pon de Replay’ and gems like ‘Let Me’ and ‘Rush’, nevertheless it’s let down by some dreary ballads, the likes of which had a behavior of cropping up within the star’s early work, appearing as pace bumps for her data’ momentum.
“Women and gents, to these amongst you who’re simply frightened we are saying flip away now,” instructions a booming voice on the opening monitor of ‘Rated R’. “To these of you who assume they will take it, we are saying welcome to the madhouse.” Rihanna’s fourth album isn’t as spooky as that message may counsel, nevertheless it did take her to some darkish territory she beforehand hadn’t explored.
This was the document the place Riri went rock – and even enlisted the assistance of Slash to take action on ‘Rockstar 101’. Between the distorted guitars and noodling solos, although, there’s nonetheless flashes of her extra acquainted sound, greatest exhibited on the Caribbean flavour of ‘Impolite Boy’, which stays one among her greatest songs up to now.
‘Good Woman Gone Dangerous’ (2007)
The primary half of 2007’s ‘Good Woman Gone Dangerous’ and its ‘Reloaded’ repackage a 12 months later) lulls you right into a false sense of safety. It’s packed wall-to-wall with absolute jams that make you are feeling such as you’re in for a flawless pay attention. It begins with the final word pop basic ‘Umbrella’ then struts via the squelchy, attractive ‘Push Up On Me’, the club-ready ‘Don’t Cease The Music’, the hell hath no fury vitality of ‘Breakin’ Dishes’ and the revving rush of ‘Shut Up And Drive’.
Sadly, although, that streak doesn’t proceed via the entire thing, coming to a screeching halt with the Ne-Yo collab ‘Hate That I Love You’. It’s proof that it’s higher to sprinkle one of the best songs throughout an album than cram all of them in early – even for those who add a belter just like the deliciously darkish ‘Disturbia’ on the finish if you reissue it the next 12 months.
Over her profession, Rihanna’s carried out all of it – rock, R&B, pop, reggae, EDM, hip-hop and way more. On her seventh album, she shifted gears as soon as once more, dipping a toe into the left area. After all, ‘Unapologetic’ options huge mainstream-pleasing tracks just like the euphoric ‘Diamonds’ or the heartbreaking ‘Keep’, however they collide with the likes of ‘Numb’, which retains issues thrillingly lowkey and experimental, and the ‘80s new wave double act of ‘Love With out Tragedy / Mom Mary’.
On this album’s lyrics, Riri additionally took two paths – celebrating popping bottles, racking traces and normal hedonism, and fighting a poisonous relationship. She’s been unfairly criticised for missing emotion in her voice, however within the latter songs, there’s feeling in abundance.
‘Speak That Speak’ (2011)
Right here’s the dangerous gal Riri we all know and love. In 2011, Rihanna was extra able to occasion than ever if ‘Speak That Speak’ is something to go by – a document that felt constructed for soundtracking nights in darkish corners of sticky, sweaty golf equipment. In addition to being prime for an enormous evening out, it additionally discovered her dialling up the sexiness to new heights – the one-two punch of ‘Cockiness (Love It)’ and ‘Birthday Cake’, adopted up later by ‘Watch n’ Study’, is pure naughtiness and you may hear her revelling in it as she sings.
‘Speak That Speak’ feels extra coherent than loads of Riri’s albums, even when elements do sound somewhat dated now. It’s additionally the purpose the place she actually received to grips with sluggish songs and learnt find out how to make them good – attempt listening to the poignant ‘Farewell’ and never really feel your tear ducts getting full.
Earlier than her fifth album ‘Loud’ was launched, the vice chairman of Def Jam in contrast it to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, including that it contained “no fillers”. A daring declare! The reality didn’t completely line up with that declaration, however ‘Loud’ is unquestionably one among Rihanna’s most iconic albums. It’s filled with bangers – ’S&M’, ‘Solely Woman In The World’, ‘What’s My Identify?’ – and massive title collaborations (Drake, Nicki Minaj, Eminem). Not like the Def Jam VP mentioned, it does include some filler – ‘California King Mattress’ is bland acoustic pop and ‘Difficult’’s a contact mawkish – however Riri makes up for it within the siren-laced crime thriller ‘Man Down’.
And so we come to the pièce de résistance of Rihanna’s profession thus far. ‘Anti’ – her newest album, though hopefully not for for much longer – is a chef’s kiss of a document, grooving hypnotically from elegant music to elegant music. It’s her first album with no skips and, if it did find yourself being her final launch, could be an excellent factor to exit on (however Riri, for those who’re studying, please give us at the least yet one more).
There’s her patois-filled reunion with Drake on ‘Work’, the surprising however glorious Tame Impala cowl ‘Identical Ol’ Errors’ and the slinky ‘Wanted Me’. Better of all, although, is ‘Love On The Mind’, when Rihanna pours out her coronary heart in her most emotional efficiency but, crafting one thing that’s good for wailing alongside to if you’re heartbroken or spinning round your room to if you’re within the throes of recent love. Genius.