13 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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”.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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”.

TITLE TIME

More By Rihanna

You May Also Like