The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom


Album Review :: Rihanna :: Unapologetic

Written by: River Kali, Special to CC2K

UnapologeticAbout half of Rihanna’s latest album, Unapologetic, is great; the other half is lame filler.  Getting things off to a great start is, Fresh Off the Runway, a David Guetta produced track that Rihanna raps over.  If you liked Beyonce’s 2009 single, Diva, you’ll love this song.  Next up, is lead single, Diamonds, a midtempo with excellent, mesmerizing production and surprisingly good lyrics (for a Rihanna track), most likely due to cowriter Sia Furler, who handled most of the lyrics for the track.  Rihanna’s vocals mesh well with the track and are very emotive.  Other stand out tracks are Jump, an urban/dance mashup that samples Ginuwine’s 1996 debut single, Pony; Stay, a piano ballad that features newcomer Mikky Ekko; Love Without Tragedy, an eighties-inspired synthpop midtempo; and Loveeeeeee Song (yes, it actually has that many Es), a mellow hip-hop track that features rapper, Future.

The other tracks are where this album goes wrong. We’ve got Nobody’s Business, a disco/R&B duet with Chris Brown that heavily samples Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit, The Way You Make Me Feel, which is funny as Chris Brown has always been seen as one of the King of Pop’s imitators. No Love Allowed, which sounds conspicuously like Billionaire by Travis McCoy and Bruno Mars. Numb, a bland club track, with a small feature from an almost unrecognizable Eminem. There are a handful of other hackneyed tracks that aren’t worth mentioning, aside from What Now, a pop-rock song that doesn’t get good until the last thirty seconds.

Overall, an album that delivers what one can usually expect from Rihanna: fun club and urban music, with a few standout tracks.