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Unapologetic Review

December 8, 2012

The Album Cover

Ecstacccccccccccyyyyyy! I’m impaired!

Doing a drug never sounded so good to me, especially since its one of the first things Rihanna bellows out on her new record “Numb” a sinuous middle eastern flavored collaboration with rapper Eminem. The last we heard of this duo was on “Love the Way You Lie” which was a massive hit. It seems they’ve done it again.

“Unapologetic” ,Rihanna’s seventh studio album, topped iTunes charts before and after its release as well as the Billboard 200 charts despite the mixed reviews. Along with bumping One Directions “Take Me Home” album from the number one spot down to the number 3 spot and also outselling Taylor Swifts  “Red” album leaving it in the number 2 spot.

The albums lead single “Diamonds”, another chart topper, creates fantasies in my mind while hitting close to home with its lyrics.  Which is why her music is so successful. It gives my mind that freedom and it’s relatable.

A beautiful starry night as the full moon glows, above the gray stone mansion patio. Rihanna emerges from inside the darkness of the house with a black strapless gown outlining her figure. She floats gracefully on the tentacles on the bottom of her dress. She pauses for a moment to sing then gracefully makes her way down the patio stairs and begins to walk onto the silent black creek that runs behind the mansion.The creek wakes with every step she takes. As the beat drops and she leads into the chorus a blast of light blows against her leaving her in nothing but skin. She cowards in a knee to chest position as her skin glows with the as if lights were shining from her insides.

Or maybe it’s me that does all this because this definitely doesn’t happen in the music video.

The albums features numerous collaborations with artist such as Chris Brown, Future, Kanye West, David Guetta, Mikki Ekko and Eminem with various genres of hip-hop, r&b, pop and techno.

Rihanna’s rebellious attitude definitely shines through in her track “Nobodies Business” featuring Chris Brown. A throw back that interpolates Michael Jacksons “The Way You Make Me Feel”. He pledges is eternal love for her. And she expresses her unapologetic love for him with words like “You’ll always be the one I want to come home too”. All the while exclaiming its no ones business. I find it ironic, on an album full of descriptions of dyspeptic relationships, the song that features her abuser is the one thats up beat and cheerful. Almost a breath of fresh air.

They say it’s no ones business but they insist on setting their tumultuous relationship to music, not to mention its on the biggest album of the year. Doesn’t this automatically make it our business? But then again maybe thats what keeps the spotlight burning . . . . . .

Like the track “Love Without Tragedy”. A two part seven minute long 80’s based ballad explaining her unapologetic love for love and unapologetic feelings towards living for the moment. It also highlights her rebellious attitude and her hopeless romanticized victim side. Was her relationship with Chris Brown not tragic? It’s hard to think she’s not referring to Chris Brown especially when quotes like“Whats love without tragedy”? “You took the best years of my life, I took the best years of your life, felt love struck me with a knife, I pray it don’t strike twice” are there. Is she not the same woman who rolled real diamonds in a blunt and lit it?

“Pour It Up” mirrors her rebellious image as well, while she expresses her love for money and strippers. Spending money everyday and still having lots more, over a club banger hip-hop beat. Rihanna definitely changes the definition of singing on this one. All while challenging her femininity and letting the boys know they aint the only ones.

On the track “What Now” a surprisingly vulnerable sounding Rihanna finally shows us the range in her vocals. As she talks about her many meaningless relationships. And how theres still something missing from her life. All on top of heart grabbing sounds that make my heart feel the emotional wounds. The softness expressed here is a rarity. Emotional baggage has definitely become a key role in creating this album, even with the upbeat songs.

Definitely a master of keeping herself current, Unapologetic may just be Rihanna best work yet.

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