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Jenny J.J.I. "A New Yorker" (That Lives in Carolinas)

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Simply Beautiful Argan Oil Hair Treatment With Pure Moroccan Ingredients - 100ml
Simply Beautiful Argan Oil Hair Treatment With Pure Moroccan Ingredients - 100ml
Offered by Second Glance Beauty
Price: 10.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good hair oil treatment, 10 Sep 2014
I have thick and long hair, which has also been colored for a few years. I always thought that my hair is in pretty good condition with the exception of split ends. After trying this Argan oil a couple of times, I can tell that my hair is even more healthy, softer, and radiant. A little bit goes a long way. While this is great in terms of value for the price, the downside is that it can leave your hair looking a touch greasy if you do not massage it in well. Secondly, it smoothed my split ends and definitely boosted my dried-out hair, which is great dried heat.
So far I used it once a week, but after my initial two-week assessment I discovered that I could get away with using it every 2 weeks, and still get the same results. Good Stuff Recommended.

Received this product free as a sample in exchange for a honest review. My views and opinions are from a customer/end user’s standpoint.

Argan Oil Hair Skin & Body Treatment Oil - Natural Pure Moroccan Ingredients - 100ml
Argan Oil Hair Skin & Body Treatment Oil - Natural Pure Moroccan Ingredients - 100ml
Offered by Second Glance Beauty
Price: 21.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good scent and moisturizes, 10 Sep 2014
I tried this Argan Oil Hair Skin & Body Treatment Oil and it really makes my skin smoother. I use very few products that I can use on my face that won't end up causing some sort of reaction. The rest of my body, while not as sensitive, is still very dry. I tried the Argan Oil on my body first, and loved how easily it absorbed without feeling greasy. Really one of my pet peeves. It has a very light, almost nonexistent, smell - nice, because I'm not too fond of products that smell like they were created in a cheap perfume factory.

As for my face - After 2 weeks of using the product every night, I've begun to notice a glow in my face. I applied a small bit to my face before I went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, my face felt soft and supple, and there were no signs of any dry skin patches. I have used this product on my face since then, and am so pleased! I love not having to use the overly processed facial creams in order to keep my skin from freaking out on me! Overall, the consistency and smell is great and compared to others. Recommended. Received this product free as a sample in exchange for a honest review. My views and opinions are from a customer/end user’s standpoint.

Moroccan Argan Hair Oil Conditioning Treatment With Natural Pure Ingredients From Morocco 100ml
Moroccan Argan Hair Oil Conditioning Treatment With Natural Pure Ingredients From Morocco 100ml
Offered by Second Glance Beauty
Price: 22.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Provides shine and softness, 6 Sep 2014
My daughter has thick and long hair and I have medium large afro so we have both been trying this out. I have used the Argan Oil and really like the way it makes my hair feel and look, it is very soft and not heavy at all. I am very pleased with the fact that its rich in vitamin E in order to reduce frizz and dryness, for those who knows natural hair does get quite thirsty.

What I also really love is the bottle it comes in - it has a very convenient long glass dispenser, so you don't need to get a bunch of oil all over you while pouring out of a hole in plastic, like other products I have tried. You can target the problem areas and apply only there. Thus it goes a long way, since you use only as much as you need. he first thing I noticed was that, it was so easy to apply to the hair and skin. In a very short time my daughter and I hair felt soft and moist and my skin felt soft and smooth. I also noticed that the palm of my hands was also soft and smooth –instead of greasy as with other products- and fingernails and cuticles looked much better. Argan oil is so beneficial for a lot things and I love it unfortunately it’s not organic but it’s what it is.

Overall the Moroccan Argan Hair Oil Conditioning Treatment is reasonable price for what it offers, especially considering the size of the bottle. Recommended.

The Element of Freedom
The Element of Freedom
Price: 3.00

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This album isn't the best but she makes you "FEEL" ......yeap .....sometimes life really is that simple., 11 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Element of Freedom (Audio CD)
After hearing this album a couple of times you can determine a balance of vulnerability, strength, and love captured throughout the progression of Key's fourth album. This was written during a time of intense personal struggle for the New York City songstress, and her pain is evident throughout Freedom. Almost completely lacking in some of the more upbeat cuts that buoyed her last album As I Am (Teenage Love Affair for example), Freedom is often little more than Keys, a piano, some minimal backing and her extraordinary voice, making the album the least immediately accessible of her career. This is an album that does not immediately grab you. Instead, it requires some patience, demands the listener put in some work too, but those who are willing to follow Keys' will find their effort well rewarded.

1. The Element of Freedom (Intro)

Alicia Keys does spoken word for the opening of her album.

2. Love Is Blind

Sometimes you can see the effects of loves strong hold. "Love is Blind" is the opening track that sets the bar for a soulful, powerful and lyrical album. Alicia harmonizes with background vocals and bass driven drums. Great way to start off an album.

3. Doesn't Mean Anything

"Doesn't Mean Anything" is the 1st single of off The Elements of Freedom. This track tells the tale of realizing that all your dreams mean nothing without anyone to share it with. Classic A. Keys is written all over this track.

4. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

You have to let the pass go and move on with you life. "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" is a smooth mid-tempo track with drums and electric keyboards. The drums provide the foundation of an edgy and sultry joint.

5. Wait Til They See My Smile

Overcome sadness and judgment with a smile. "Wait Til They See My Smile" is a song about perseverance. The hook sounds like a sample of the Beach Boys "Kokomo". It's probably my least favorite track on the album.

6. That's How Strong My love Is

Standing strong through the motions of love. "That's How Strong My love Is" is beautiful song that follows the cohesive flow of the piano lined album

7. Unthinkable (I'm Ready) Featuring Drake

Unthinkable is the sexiest and most sensual song on the Elements of Freedom. Canadian rapper, Drake provided background vocals on the track and brings a masculine quality to the track. A. Key's sultry intro sets the foundation for the best song on the album.

8. Love Is My Disease

Have you ever been in love so much that you can't act right without them? "Love Is My Disease" is about missing the company of that spell someone to the point where it makes you sick. The track has a Caribbean inspired flare that creates a distinctly different sound.

9. Like The Sea

Love can wrap you up and swallow you like a tidal wave that's too strong. "Like The Sea" is a song of metaphorical brilliance that captures the heavy emotions of love.

10. Put It In A Love Song (Featuring Beyonce)

"What up B? What up AAAAA?"

Two of American R&B's most talented women team up to do a collaboration that I consider less than stellar. "Put It In A Love Song" is like a spinoff of Beyonce's "Check Up On It" without the ghetto bass line. I think the track was a bit rushed and they just wanted to join forces. Sometimes you need to balance out sound. Female/ Male and R&B/ Hip Hop collaborations usual work the best.

11. This Bed

Have you ever slept in a lonely bed by yourself? "This Bed" is a mid-tempo track that talks about wishing someone were here in bed sleeping next to you. A playful and sensual track that`s smooth to groove to.

12. Distance And Time

For all those Lovers in LDR (Long Distance Relationships) that wish they were next to that special someone. "Distance and Time" is a soft and touching track that shows A. Key's vulnerable side. This is one of those songs that will make you cry if you're in the same situation.

13. How It Feels To Fly

Sometimes you have to let go of the materialistic and superficial things and just fly. "How It Feels To Fly" is a beautiful and motivational song that brings strength and hope to the album. A good listen to lift your spirit and give you an optimistic view on life.

14. Empire State of Mind (Part II) Featuring Jay-Z

An Ode to New York Empire State of Mind (Part II) is the R&B version of Jay-Z's hit "Empire State of Mind". A. Keys vocals are amazing on this song and it makes you feel like you should be from New York. Same hook but the chorus is provided by Alicia's vocals. Very inspiring way to end a powerful album!

"The Element of Freedom" is an album for lovers and true romantics at heart. Piano keys fill the entire album with A. Keys signature style and grace. You may need to be in love or a place of true happiness to appreciate this album. "Element of Freedom" is lyrically romantic and full of metaphorical depth. I don't know what Swizz Beats did to A. Keys but she is open and free of it all. While there are a few misfires ("Put It In a Love Song" comes to mind), these flaws are rendered null and void due to the excellence of songs like "UnThinkable" and "Like The Sea". With Freedom, Alicia Keys takes listeners on a lush journey, one that showcases her consistency as well as a foundation of strength, vulnerability and ultimately, hope.
The tracks that stood out to me are:
Love Is Blind

Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

Unthinkable (I'm Ready)

Like The Sea

Empire State of Mind (Part II)

Avatar [DVD]
Avatar [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sam Worthington
Offered by streetsahead
Price: 4.99

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This film tells you to not mess with Mothers Natures warriors, 8 Jan 2010
This review is from: Avatar [DVD] (DVD)
"Avatar" is a very good movie that sadly falls short of greatness through the 2 1/2 hours which I sat down to watch with my family, My eyes were quite simply glued to the screen all the way through and by the time it ended it left us wanting more, and both my kids wouldn't stop talking about it all night. Cameron does what he has always done best and his shortcomings are in his weak area, script and plot development. Everything about "Avatar" is perfect except for the script which is devastatingly mediocre. As for the cast. I really don't think Cameron has had a better one in all his career. Stephen Lang and Sigoreney Weaver both deliver good performances. Along with Neyitri (Zoe Saldana), she really captures the audience with how 'real' she was on screen. Her emotion, her movement and even her voice can tell you how her character is feeling. You'll really fall in love with her character besides her beauty. These characters are embedded in the universe organically. We could see the awkwardness is just about every one of the Star Wars prequels and some moments in just about every Hollywood blockbuster since then like "Iron Man" at times. To act with extensive technology is hard. 'Avatar' doesn't have the problem in the least bit.

What capture me the most was when Jake (Sam Worthington) first enters his avatar, for the first time in the history of film, I experienced what I'll call breaking the wall of realism. I'm not talking about the graphic effects purely as well, sure it is a huge part of the experience, but what I'm getting at is that we (the viewers) are subjected to the experiences he has in this new body. As a paraplegic, he has this new found experience, this new world sucking him in, and it's a uplifting and applies so well in the film standard.

The way Cameron compares the viewer to the realizations of Jake Sully are unparalleled. He puts you into his skin more or less, letting the world of Pandora swallow you up, chase you, curse you, and then what you see, is that this place is worth fighting for. And that is what happens, you want to fight for Pandora.

Luckily, your fight only requires watching the story unfold, but it is so involving, that I felt wonder. Yes, pure wonder. The scenes of wonder are limitless, and most of the great wonders hardly contain dialog and oddly enough, the dialog is the weakest part of the film, though it really doesn't matter. We experience the world of Pandora. Plus the flying scenes are the most spectacular display of cinema submersion I've ever seen...This movie is visually and psychologically beautiful in ways most movies could only dream. It isn't perfect, what is? And yes, there will be a lot of opinion about its stature as a huge production.

After saying this, I have to give credit where credit is due. James Cameron's vision for film making is unmatched by anyone. The visuals are outstanding; entertaining and saved me from regretting laying down the extra two dollars to see this film in 3-D. It is obvious that Cameron has unparallel dedication and drive to make a film that people will want to see. This same dedication and drive made him want to handle writing this one himself. Few posses the power to demand the type of budget that Cameron can and it's obvious this film could not have been made without a substantial budget. If you would have combined this new ground breaking and visually stunning technology, with an equally moving and unique script then that's the movie I want to see. It deserves it's spot in the top 10 this year, and is quite simply a masterpiece of cinematography in all aspects.

The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD]
The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD]
Dvd ~ Garret Dillahunt
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 10.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like this sort of thing and know what you're getting into, 8 Jan 2010
I've seen the remake of Wes Craven's original and it was pretty good plus disturbing. Having seen my fair share of disturbing films like "Cannibal Holocaust." After watching this up to date version it seems a bit unbalanced and tame along with the unrated version. I say unbalanced because it seems to want to be two different films, in terms of genre and style. The last act and the only parts worth watching, seem to fall under the 'torture porn' genre, for example "Hostel," "Saw" and countless other horror films that rely on gross out gore to entertain the audience. Nothing wrong with this of course because I love my gore in horror flicks. This film does have some great deaths, even if they are a bit over the top. Hammers, garbage disposals, microwaves, all these are great death scenes. Yet the rest of the film (save for the rape bits) seem to belong to another film all together.

The acting is by the numbers, yet I found Dillahunt and Goldwyn are the stand out performances. Dillahunt, from Deadwood, plays Krug, the lead gang member. He walks the line of being nice, at least to me. He plays it nice, yet his actions are despicable. I say he played it nice because Aaron Paul, who plays another member of the gang is pretty "evil" and over the top. Goldwyn plays the father and has intense moments that is all played through his eyes. The two of them have a fight scene that was not in the original and it seems too fake, just to fill some time.

The story is predictable, even if you haven't seen the original and is by the numbers. In a film like this, I was expecting more shock moments. The final act had two, yet this film cries for more. As a remake, I'd say I've seen worse (Prom Night), but there are certainly better (Dawn of the Dead) remakes out there. Another thing that struck me was the flow of the movie, if you could call it that. While there are some strong emotional scenes, the movie doesn't know (or want) to emotionalize until the end. May be that's just my feeling here. At the end I didn't feel bad, but I certainly didn't feel as relieved as in "Taken."

Director Illiadis has a passion for blood, his shots of flesh cutting and his close ups in general but it's not enough to sustain a large amount of interest in what is, essentially, a film supposed to be actually about something. "Last House On The Left" is a well made film, don't get me wrong. If you're into this type of horror stuff then it might satisfy you.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2010 3:21 AM GMT

The Hangover [DVD] [2009]
The Hangover [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Zach Galifianakis
Price: 2.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Hangover" is, without a doubt, one of 2009's funniest and most competently-made comedies., 8 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Hangover [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
My husband and I found this movie to be very hilarious. What I like about its basically one movie that goes from one crazy event to another. Yet it doesn't loose it's focus on its main plot and also knows to find the time to work on its characters as well. The characters are all being handled and build-up well into the movie. It's the same type of comedy approach Director Phillips used earlier for movies such as "Road Trip" and "Old School". Todd Phillips knows how to bring teenage lame humor as something hilarious and also convincing.

The movie relies heavily on its main concept. It feels like though that the entire story got based around the writers thoughts of having a couple of guys wake up in a wrecked hotel room and things are missing and other things suddenly are in their room and most importantly one of their buddies who is about to get married is missing. It's like they first come up with this idea and then decided to write and base the entire story around this. This has as a result though that not all things reach a satisfying closure. It also has as a result that things get raveled at times, as can best been seen during its end credits when gets revealed what happened all during their long night, they remembered nothing about the next morning.

So well, no, the movie isn't perfect but still it's one of the more enjoyable ones of recent years, along with "Tropic Thunder". The movie is throughout funny and even during its weaker moments it knows to entertain, which is also due to its characters. The movie has a sort of adventurous feeling over it, since the movie jumps from the one extreme event into the other one. It's a comedy-odyssey.

The movie doesn't really feature any well known comedy actors in it for its main parts. This works well though for the story I feel, since in cases when movies have big comedy-stars in it, the movie and its humor mostly rely on the performances from those stars and puts most of the emphasis one them. In this case it can rely more on its story, situations and the characters as individuals. The movie still features some well known actors in it though, mostly in some cameo-roles. There are not too many though, which is a good thing, so it doesn't ever get distracting. So aside from that "The Hangover" is, without a doubt, one of 2009's funniest and most competently-made comedies.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs [DVD] [2010]
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Anna Faris
Price: 3.00

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's personally very refreshing to know that humor doesn't have to be R rated to be hilarious., 8 Jan 2010
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's adaptation of Judi and Ron Barrett's 1978 children's book is as subtle as a giant pancake crushing a house. It's always a challenge to take a well loved story and adapt it to film. Often it involves cutting much of the story to make the film a manageable length. Fans of books often react negatively to such changes. Without the exposure of the book, the family and I went into this film with an open mine.

In the movie, it starts out as a gentle story of a grandfather telling a sweet bedtime story to his granddaughter about a town where the weather was always food. Barring the `culinary climate' angle, all the gentleness has gone, replaced by a comically frantic tale of an obsessed young inventor, Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), who, with his trusted monkey-friend Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), has spent his entire life dedicated to making his wild visions a reality (two of which - a TV with legs and a rat-pigeon crossbreed - figure hilariously in the film's story). His mother Fran (Lauren Graham) was his inspiration, but her passing leaves Flint with only his gruff, insular dad Tim (James Caan) to impress, and that isn't easy. Later in the story the land's weather takes the form of food, which in time becomes a problem, forcing the population of Chew and swallow to leave their home. The film has that as a core, but has developed an entire story to explain how that phenomenon came to be--the work of a nerdy inventor, Flint Lockwood, who just wants to make the world a better place. His inventions through the years have been busts. His latest machine makes food out of water, but when it goes ballistic and ends up in the clouds, the weather turns to food first by raining cheeseburgers, really cute.

Along the way, the story gives me something of a basic introduction to sin. I found it interesting that six of the attitudes often called the Seven Deadly Sins made their way into this story. Brent, the town celebrity, is the embodiment of sloth and hubris. The Mayor is a combination of greed, gluttony, and envy. Earl (Mr. T), the town policeman, often reflects anger, even though he also has a soft and loving side. (The deadly sin missing is lust.) Each of these "deadly sins" brings complications to the story, just as they inevitably bring sorrow into life.

The family and I did embrace the craziness of its central premise, Cloudy delivers a surprisingly appetizing dish of fast-paced lunacy, sprinkled with some memorable characters for instance Mr. T's and peppered with great one-liners. (Look out for the TV anchorman who remarks on the fact that Flint's malfunctioning doohickey, in true Armageddon fashion, strikes familiar national landmarks first before moving on to surrounding areas.) There are lots of good messages that can be taken from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - follow your dreams; stay true to yourself; remember what's most important are family and friends. All the usual ones that have puffed up kids films for a century now, and they still work and are always welcome when handled well.

But the added bonus in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is the inspired lunacy of its laughs - the big spoonful of sugar that makes the moral medicine palatable, even negligible. It is the ideal confection for the sweet-toothed youngster or the parent desperate for a guilty indulgence.

Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by streetsahead
Price: 3.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You might think Tarantino glorifies violence, but I think that's just the way he expresses his ideas, 8 Jan 2010
I am a huge QT fan so I went expecting a lot from this film. The movie is simply an experience and Tarantino immerses you into this world. I honestly am very surprised that there are so many comments stating this is a bad movie and Tarantino trash. I understand not everyone loves QT but how can you not appreciate the writing and acting in this film. The film, as most of us know by now, is a WWII revenge saga that follows a small unit of Jewish-American soldiers as they wreak violent (and darkly funny) havoc on the German Army. The screenplay is astounding, containing some of the best film dialogue in recent years. The opening scene where SS Col. Hans Landa interrogates a French dairy farmer is among Tarantino's finest work. This single scene is over 20 minutes long and yet the viewer's attention is captured throughout. Tarantino does this again later in the film, with a nearly 30 minute scene in a pub that leads to a sudden, bloody conclusion.

The acting in this movie is top notch. Brad Pitt offers one of his funniest performances in years as a charismatic southern army lieutenant with a knack for carving swastikas into the foreheads of Nazi soldiers. Christoph Walz will surely receive an Oscar nomination for his scene-stealing performance as the ruthless and cunning Col. Landa. Several impressive supporting performances appear as well.

The score (as with Tarantino's other recent films) contains music taken from classic 70's soundtracks. I recognized bits from "White Lightning" and "Kelly's Heroes". There is some good spaghetti western music included as well.

No doubt this was an entertaining film to watch and certainly a unique story and characters which has become a painfully absent commodity in Hollywood for quite a few years now. Only problem I had with the film is it seems to have lost some steam or creative energy in the story development in the second half. Maybe that's just QT bucking the traditional expected story arch, or perhaps he had more in mind for the film originally and had to settle for less and compress for time, I'm not sure. Either way he is exceptionally skilled at bringing what's in his head to life on film, almost to the point where it feels as though I'm not really watching actors in a movie, but being invited into a vivid daydream. Once again I just felt the last third of the film felt a little flat, could have used some more powerful twists than the ones he tossed in seemingly as an afterthought. QT does tend to come off as a bit of a rambler when he's speaking, to say the least, and I think he has all these grand ideas and just has a hard time fitting them all into a 2 hour flick. I'm in no way criticizing the guy's ability to make some of the best films ever, or even this movie which was awesome,

Aside from that, "Inglourious Basterds" is entertaining and one of my favorite Tarantino movies, I'm not too sure it's better then Jackie Brown, not quite as good as Pulp Fiction but a grower in the future to come.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2010 12:09 AM GMT

Rated R
Rated R
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like this album even though Rihanna is in a dark place........, 12 Dec 2009
This review is from: Rated R (Audio CD)
She's in a murderous mood for sure, which is why at a certain point I began referencing the artist by a new, more fitting nickname: "Rihannoir." Lyrically, Rihanna has all but rejected the meaningless dance floor romps to ballsy statements and sarcastic jibes.

Distrust and hurt is written largely on a number of the tracks here (given that she doesn't write most her own material, she has to find others to voice her anger and frustration). It is impossible to listen to many of the songs on "Rated R"--such as "Cold Case Love" (a highlight co-written by Justin Timberlake) or "Stupid in Love"-- and not filter them through that horrific context whether that is how they are meant to be heard or not. For example, first single "Russian Roulette," which we reviewed extensively for all its gunplay, is more about the psycho-sexual drama of being in a damaging relationship. The firearm motif continues on "G4L," which apparently stands for "Gangsta for Life." On the roughest of cuts, including the menacingly paced "G4L," Rihanna let's loose a deluge of blood-chilling statements: "I lick the gun when I'm done, 'cause I know that revenge is sweet." To tell you the truth my eyebrows raise on that statement along with the other stuff that was coming out of her mouth. Like "Russian Roulette," the song has a certain grinding, sensual mid-tempo rhythm that recalls a Shirley Bassey-era James Bond theme.

Yes, there is a world of difference between playing out some revenge fantasy in song and hitting someone in real life--and we are in no way suggesting otherwise-- but it can be a fine line to delicately walk between being both the totally innocent victim and the perpetrator, both of which she plays on "Rated R." On "Rude Boy," she tells her lover, "I like the way you pull my hair." It's tempting to give Rihanna a free pass in the name of expressing her rage and art, but it's equally fair to call her out for sending, if not mixed, slightly confounding messages. As much as Rihanna can bring the tough-girl swagger, I wouldn't want to face her in a dark alley, even with her in six-inch Louboutins--she's equally convincing as the vulnerable, hurting half of a destructive duo on "Stupid in Love," a stirring ballad in which friend after friend tries to wave her off a damaging relationship before she finds her own strength to walk away.

Rihanna doesn't have a particularly strong or broad range, but her voice is expressive and supple. One of her strongest suits is her delivery that often reflects her island upbringing. Instead of trying to sound like every other pop singer, on such tunes as "Wait Your Turn," and "Hard," she incorporates Caribbean beats and her patois into the songs, giving them both a unique feel. "Hard" finds Rihanna at her most defiant, pulling out all the stops to prove just why she's so...well, hard: "I'ma rock this sh.t like fashion, as in goin' til they say stop / And my runway never looked so clear / But the hottest b.tch in heels right here," she proudly proclaims over a grinding series of industrial beats, horns, and piano chords. Regardless of whether one is inclined to accept Riri's new-found street cred, it's all but impossible not to want to play along in the meantime.

The album isn't completely icy however, as the artist breaks down her defenses more than a few times for a series of introspective, though somewhat uneven jams. "Stupid in Love" is both the album's only traditional ballad and also the most skippable part of Rated R, as the singer plods through a somewhat embarrassing chorus: "This is stupid / I'm not stupid / Don't talk to me like I'm stupid." Other slow numbers, including the masterful, six-minute "Cold Case Love" and the guitar-heavy "Fire Bomb" all offer subtle clues as to how she's feeling: "Your love was breaking the law, but I needed a witness / So wake me up when it's over, it don't make any difference," she coos through "Cold Case Love."

Much of the credit has to be given to her collaborators particulary with brings a touch of sweetness and complements Rihanna's soft side on "Photographs." Rihanna easily shifts to her inner heavy-metal side with "Rockstar 101," on which she's accompanied by every one's go-to guitarist, Slash.

But if anything's meant for Brown, it's the soaring, gut-wrenching "The Last Song," the album's outro which may also go down as Rihanna's most overlooked, artistic piece of work yet.This album is not, however, the confessional many thought it might have been. In fact, Rihanna delves into a host of other topics and issues including the triple-take worthy "Te Amo," which follows a female suitor's unsuccessful attempts for the singer's affections atop a swaying, Latin beat. "I'm all for feeling the love, but I don't feel that way," Rihanna pleads as the song's bridge fades. Be it the young singer's first foray into lyrically exploring her sexuality or simply a not-so-subtle round of homophobia, "Te Amo" proves about as earnest in its replay value as Rihanna's unrequited love.

Though Rated R is not nearly as commercially viable or even as accessible as her past three records, the album offers a taste of experimental production value-a distinction that may not make itself apparent until years down the line. Aside from that, anyone looking for the escape from the daily doldrums that much of Rihanna's earlier music provided, look elsewhere.

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