Rihanna: Unapologetic

8 Feb

rihanna unapologetic

Riri returns with an album as skeezy as the public image she has cultivated. The title says it all really, the tone of the album is in-your-face, nonchalant, and at times out rightly offensive, all of which could be forgiven if the songs were of the same calibre produced on the Bajan beauty’s earlier efforts but they simply aren’t.

Lead single Diamonds lacks on every level. True, it has the bones to be a single; catchy lyrics, a passable beat, and the kind of throw away feel good lines people gobble up these days (think Katy Perry’s Firework), but it has none of these things in enough measure to warrant it being the lead single on the album. In fact the only reason for it to have been used as such seems to be the distinct lack of a rival. The only glimmer of sunshine on Unapologetic comes from adorably upbeat French DJ David Guetta, on Right Now. Guetta’s beats inject the album with some much needed lightness amid the mire. That aside, Unapologetic misses all the marks with awful song writing, lackluster production and formulaic songs which make the album a very hard slog. But these gripes seem trivial when weighed up against Unapologetic’s myriad transgressions, so where to begin?

Lets put aside the dropping of an N bomb for one minute and focus on what is clearly the most creepy, offensive and irresponsible track on the album; Nobody’s Business featuring Chris Brown. Though penned by other parties, it doesn’t take a genius to work out what they are getting at, and while it may be nobody’s  business (or as Rihanna says: “ent nobidies bi’ni”‘)  but their own, the fact remains that Brown is still on probation for the violent attack he made on her in 2009. The pair may have kissed and made up but hearing them sing about their freaky Ike and Tina union is just downright uncomfortable. It would appear they have gone to great pains to tell the world to butt out but methinks they doth protest too much; if it really isn’t any of our business and they aren’t ashamed it makes little and less sense to sing a duet about it.

Now back to that N bomb featured on No Love Allowed. If we cast our minds back to 2011 I’m sure many will recall Rihanna staunchly fighting with Dutch magazine Jackie over it’s use of the term “n*gga b*tch” to describe the way she dressed. The stoush eventually ended with the resignation of Jackie’s editor Eva Hoeke, so offended was Riri, and yet she continues to include the vulgarity in her music. One has to wonder why Rihanna thinks it is acceptable for her to perpetuate the slur and still reserve the right to find it offensive coming from others.

All in all Unapologetic has a lot to answer for and little to offer devout fans. Give it a miss.

Ed.

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