Rihanna releases Loud, her fifth album

Shanice Davis (’12)

Corresponding with her new look; Rihanna’s fifth studio album, Loud was released on November 16.

“It’s a really expressive album. [It has] a lot of attitude. It’s really, really sassy and it has just an unforgettable energy,” Rihanna said to ET.  So far, most critics and fans agree noting Rihanna’s departure from the more dark and edgy, Rated R, her fourth studio album.

Loud opens up with pop track, “S&M” in which Rihanna sings “I may be bad but I’m perfectly good at it,” reminding fans of her bad girl persona that she established with her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad.

Although Rihanna’s first single from Loud, “Only Girl In The World,” lured people in to her new project with its retro appeal, it was Rihanna’s second single, “What’s My Name” featuring Drake, that skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.  Although Drake fell short of his notable lyrical abilities, it was Rihanna’s vocals that paved the way for the song’s success. Both Caribbean and R&B influences are also distinguished on this track.

Rihanna also collaborated with Nicki Minaj on the track “Raining Men”. Thus, it goes without saying that this single is the bubbliest song on the album. Rihanna opens the song singing “Eenie, meenie, minie, mo” which establishes the playful feel of the track.

Loud also features a part two to Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie.”

“When I first heard the idea about doing a part two, I was completely against it. I felt it couldn’t beat the original,” Rihanna said to MTV News. The song, however, not only features more vocals from Rihanna, but also another verse from Eminem.

More notable tracks on the album include “Man Down” in which Rihanna takes a trip back to her Bajan roots with strictly reggae instrumentals and vocals. The song “Fading” is also reminiscent of Rihanna’s “Take A Bow” from her album, Good Girl Gone Bad.

Overall, while Rihanna is easily dubbed as a pop artist, it is hard to classify this album as such considering Rihanna has experimented with influences from different genres such as reggae, R&B, and even country with “California King Bed”, a song about a failing relationship.

Although Rihanna will always be remembered for the release of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, it is safe to say that Loud will quickly establish itself as a fan favorite as it highlights Rihanna’s growth as an artist.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars