- Audio CD (15 Nov. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Mercury
- ASIN: B00428ZRFE
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,946 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Loud is Rihanna's fifth studio album. The follow-up to 2009's Rated R, Loud sees the Barbados-native return to the dancier grooves that inspired her early success. The album features the UK number one single "Only Girl (In the World)".
Rihanna’s fifth album in as many years has been described by the singer as "sassy, fun, flirty, energetic" – a return to the slick pop with which she made her name following last year’s darker Rated R. But it’s not quite that simple; after all, that album delivered the dancehall smash Rude Boy while this record closes with Love the Way You Lie (Part II), an affecting sequel to her Eminem collaboration that takes on added relevance given the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.
Loud certainly (if intermittently) lives up to the singer’s promise. It is brilliantly sassy and exuberant at times – the enormous synth and shout-along chorus of Only Girl (In the World) is about the measure of it, while Nicki Minaj makes for a superb partner in crime on Raining Men, her wild, kinetic flow complementing Rihanna’s steely delivery to wicked effect.
Disappointingly though, the knowing strangeness that coloured even Rated R’s most chart-friendly moments has been toned down in favour of a brazen sexuality that sits at odds with what Rihanna is trying to accomplish here. Since when was ‘flirtatious’ synonymous with ‘sadomasochistic’? As bracingly huge and catchy as it is, S&M doesn’t deviate much from its blunt title: lyrics like "Sticks and stones may break my bones / But chains and whips excite me" feel forced, not daring. Similarly, her insistence that "I like it rough" on the comparatively restrained Skin can’t help but come across a little uncomfortable in the light of her personal history.
But the argument over whether songs like this subjugate or empower their female performers is one for another time, or maybe one not worth having at all – not when the songs are this good, the singer’s voice this powerful. What’s My Name? features the similarly young and talented Drake mulling the "square route of 69" over choppy Caribbean rhythms that reappear on Man Down, where Rihanna relays a break-up as murder metaphor in thick Barbadian patois. Love the Way You Lie (Part II) even bests the original, Eminem’s verse exuding the kind of volatile, simmering menace that got everyone so excited about him in the first place. But it is Rihanna’s vocal – at once commanding, soulful and vulnerable – that anchors the song, and Loud itself, elevating it from a hit-and-miss collection into something oddly arresting.
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Top Customer Reviews
I always listen to it when I have free time!
I adore Rihanna!
Now at 22 years of age, here we are with her fifth album in her career of over 60 million albums and singles sold worldwide! in 5 years and the successor to Rated R barely a year in age between them. Rihanna makes it certain that she is in a much better place, and her confidence certainly shines through here on LOUD. We are given a HUGE cultural blend with this album, as she brings her Caribbean and Island influences from her Barbadian upbringing through her list of songs. This vibe alone sets this album apart from the plethora of 'pop artists' that past year! it's never generic, it's raw and also a fantastical display of RIhanna as a visionary as well as an artist and a singer.
The direction of the album is symbolic of her journey as an iconic figure over the past few years, it's that natural progression forward and dare i say it...LOUD is her greatest album of her career because of it!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a huge fan of her music, & this album does not disappoint. For people who are new to her music, however, I'd recommend you listen to Rihanna's "Good Girl gone Bad"... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eagle_87
I really love this album as does my daughter. Real stand out tunes from a sassy woman who isn't afraid to sing about the bad the sad and the fun. Read morePublished 4 months ago by AndyL
Loud by Rihanna. Thanks to Amazons mp3 downloader put this straight on my ipod. .Play it all day and love every track.Published 6 months ago by mal