Friday, November 16, 2012

Right Now

Song: Right Now
Artist: Rihanna
Album: Unapologetic

It's pretty impressive that Rihanna is on her seventh year as an artist and is about to release her seventh album in that amount of time.  "Umbrella" made her a serious pop contender, she slipped with the dark, tune-less "Rated R" but has rebounded into the pop stratosphere with the one-two punch of "Loud" and "Talk That Talk."  The later packed heavyweight singles "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been," and literally just two weeks after releasing one of that album's best and most Ri-Ri tracks, "Cockiness" she jumps into a new album with "Diamonds," a initial head-scratcher of Sia-written mid-tempo-ness.

I didn't have much to say about "Diamonds" at first, it didn't grab me... and compared to first singles "Only Girl in the World" and "We Found Love," it was pretty dead on arrival.  BUT, I've really warmed up to the song, and the video is gorgeous.  So how is this new record?

Well, for someone that connected with "Loud" and "Talk That Talk" immediately, "Unapologetic" is a messy, noisy, patched-together affair.  It has it's moments for sure, but most annoyingly, there are songs that begin to sound great but are ultimately ruined by something.  "Numb (feat. Eminem)" is moody and quite atmospheric only to be ruined by Eminem.  I'm not much of a fan, but his feature seems tacked-on and is embarrassing really.  "Jump" has a truly amazing start, does an amazing job at intertwining Genuwine's "Pony" only to be killed from some ear-splitting dubstep.  Such potential only to be killed.  "What Now," has a great quiet piano start despite unfortunately following the peppy "Right Now," but the chorus, like much of the album, packs on a bunch of un-melodic, messy noise.

"Right Now"is an immediate favorite, the David Guetta-assisted slamming club track that's really what I'm looking for from Rihanna.  It doesn't hold a candle to "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been," though it does manage to make it's dubstep work, and the best use of that mostly obnoxious sound since the Stereo MC's "Bring it On."  The very quiet and pretty "Stay" is an interesting standout, though should have ended the album.

There's a disco-throwback duet with Chris Brown, "Nobody's Business," which is nice but it's hard to separate the nice-if-throwaway track with all the personal drama.  Brown brings nothing to it but backstory, nothing.  Eh, whatever.  "Love Without Tragedy" steals "Message in a Bottle" from The Police, though it's nice enough.

"Right Now" should be a hit, but beyond that this is messy and mostly unlistenable like "Rated R."  It's disappointing  but the good news is... we'll have an entirely new record in another 12 months.



Right Now

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