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Rated R

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Between the release of Good Girl Gone Bad and Rated R, Rihanna became the most-watched pop star in the world. Her violent altercation with boyfriend Chris Brown ignited a horrifying media circus, and there was intense speculation as to how she would use Rated R to address the turmoil in her personal life. A theme of lost love is evident in “Fire Bomb”, “Photographs” and “The Last Song,” while “Stupid In Love” contains a haunting reference to the Brown incident: “Don’t understand it / Blood on your hands / And still you insist / On repeatedly trying / To tell me lies.” Even the less personal songs have a brooding aura, exemplified by the terror and vulnerability of the lead single, “Russian Roulette”. The larger-than-life performances of “G4L” and “Rockstar 101” have more in common with Depeche Mode than Beyoncé. It’s exciting to hear Rihanna pushing into darker, more challenging territory, even as she retains the glamour of a futuristic diva. It would have been easy for a pop star of her stature to gloss over personal tribulation, but instead Rihanna confronts her pain head-on with the confessional “Cold Case Love”.

Customer Reviews

Rated 5 stars.

I'm proud to say after this album I'm a fully fledged Rihanna fan. I loved her last album but for me Rated R steps it up a whole other notch. The production is sleak but also edgy, raw, dark and sophisticated and so is the lyrical content. After hearing Russian Roulette, Wait Your Turn (the second UK single) and Hard (the second US single) I couldn't wait to hear the album in full. This album shows depth, creativity, authenticity and quite frankly bravery. She's basically stuck her 2 fingers up at the people who thought she'd come with another generic version of Good Girl Gone Bad to keep stacking up the #1 hits worldwide and instead changed up her style again, took a risk and stepped out of what some might say was her comfort zone, and it definitely pays off. I must say I think the inspiration and background for this album came from the troubles she's been through this year, but if you go back and watched her video to Disturbia and of course listen to it, Rated R is like Disturbia x10. She even said in an interview with Fearne on Radio 1 that Disturbia was basically to be considered an introduction to her next album in terms of style and music (although nothing here is anywhere near as pop as the aforementioned track, and I'm actually happy about that). It definitely pays off and this is one of my favourite albums of 2009 and my favourite of Rihanna's 4 so far. She's maturing and growing as a person and an artist, and with writing credits on most of the songs on here she's definitely coming into her own and taking to the forefront of what she does. 5 Stars. I can't wait to buy my hard copy. The wait is definitely over.

The other Rated R Superstar

Well, what can I say. Rihanna's heel turn is fresh and self assured. I'm hopeful that this will do well as this is definately a step in a different direction. This good girl has definately gone bad with her edgy new sound. This album is one of the best of 2009 hands down. I highly recommend it!

Amazing. / Explicit?

Absolutely amazing album, but where's the explicit version? It's definitely Rihanna's best album to date and one of the most cohesive album this year, along with The Fame Monster. The image works perfectly with the dark lyrical theme and musical vibe this album has and I wouldn't change a single thing about it……… apart from the censorship. I will refrain form buying this album on iTunes until and explicit version is released. You're welcome. x


Born: 20 February 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Rihanna established her dance-pop credentials in summer 2005 with her debut smash hit, "Pon de Replay," and continued to demonstrate hit potential in subsequent years ("S.O.S." in 2006; "Umbrella" in 2007; "Disturbia" in 2008). However, it was the singer's third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, that made her a full-fledged international pop star with a regular presence atop the charts. Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, she exhibited a certain star quality as a young...
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