RIHANNA PEAKED IN 2010: CHANGE MY MIND
Okay so there’s something about working at a club and hearing Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ once a week that makes you really think deeply about her career trajectory. It’s become a regular occurrence for me to turn to a co-worker and go ‘UGH, I hate Rihanna’. But do I hate Rihanna? Or do I hate what Rihanna has become? After some research (read: listening to all 8 of Rihanna’s studio albums), I realised: Rihanna peaked in 2010, and nothing has been the same since.
MUSIC OF THE SUN / A GIRL LIKE ME (2005/6)
“Come Mr DJ won’t you turn the music up?” This is Rihanna before the good girl went bad, and honestly for the first two albums these are pretty damn good. Nothing will match up to LOUD, but you could take several of these and put them on a playlist for pre drinks and have a great time, and that’s all you can ask for. Not only do we have the epic Pon De Replay (which honestly I assumed came out in like 2010 rather than 2005), but AGLM has SOS, which is hugely underrated and I’m determined to request it every time I go out from now on.
GOOD GIRL GONE BAD (2007)
This album totally defined my early teenage years and looking back I can see why. Umbrella, Don’t Stop the Music AND Shut Up and Drive all on the same album? This is the DREAM. Has any one album had this many bangers on since? Doubtful.
Oh my good lord. Possibly the best album on the planet? You get to Good Girl Gone Bad and think Rihanna must have peaked, and then you hear Loud and it’s like wow this some good shit. Honestly every single song on this album is incredible. Also shout out to Eminem because Love the Way You Lie (Parts 1 and 2) are iconic and I can’t stop listening to them on repeat right now.
After hearing this you’re like wow Rihanna is an absolute goddess. We get the 2011 single We Found Love (phenomenal). What will she come out with next??
Disappointment, that’s what comes out next.
TALK THAT TALK (end of 2011)
What happened??? The fact that We Found Love is on here is the only thing that redeems this train wreck to be honest. It’s like the entertainment fairy only gave her 6 years of talent and then it just sort of died out.
Worst song on the album: Drunk On Love. I firmly believe that people only listen to this when they make a typo searching for Drunk in Love (Beyonce will always slay). The first lyrics are ‘I feel like I’m a hopeless romantic’. Either you are or you aren’t hun. Stop trying to use similes and bring back S&M Rihanna.
You’re not apologetic? You should be, this is trash. Diamonds is a travesty and it absolutely does my head in that this is like her most played song in clubs. It just grates on me, like chalk on a blackboard (that’s a simile, which Rihanna has now worked out how to use. It’s just that ‘Shine bright like a diamond’ is a fucking terrible simile.)
So after Unapologetic Rihanna takes a bit of a break from studio albums (thank God). But what do we get? FourFiveSeconds. I didn’t even realise this was a Rihanna song until I was ‘researching’ for this article. It’s really not very good is it? Where is the beat? Where is the melody? Where is the quality? Why is it number 1 most popular Rihanna song on Spotify?
Wow, so it turns out that Paul McCartney is also on this track. Is this the most ambitious crossover in history? Apparently so. It doesn’t work. And speaking of ‘Work’...
There’s one good song on this album and it’s ‘Work’. Even then, the lyrics aren’t exactly mind-blowing, although a special mention must go to the most relatable line, which is ‘Nobody text me in a crisis’. Same.
Rihanna hun, what happened?
Please consider this an open letter to Rihanna to go back to her 2010 music, and to DJs to stop playing Diamonds. Thank you and goodbye.