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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
1. S&M > A definite club banger. With naughty lyrics and a catchy beat, you will not be able to stop yourself moving to this song. A great opener to the album, which really gets you in the mood to party. If you liked "disturbia" then you will love this track. 10/10
2. Whats my name > The second single that was released from this album, featuring Drake . This song is a grower after a few plays. You won' be able to get it out of your head all day. 9/10
3. Cheers > This song is like marmite, you love it or you hate it. Some may find the Avril Lavigne sample odd, but in a roundabout way it works. This is a song to play before you go out on a friday night. 7/10
4. Fading > This track is probably the weakest song on the album, but nevertheless is a nice track . Rihanna sings of a relationship coming to an end, which is what many can relate to. 6/10
5.Only Girl > The first single from the album. And you can see why. This song has you singing and dancing along for weeks. 10/10
6. California King Bed > A beautiful ballad. It sounds like it could have been on her album "Rated R". Rihanna shows how her vocals have grown. 8/10
7.Man Down > This song is just pure greatness. You are fully reminded that Rihanna is Caribbean with this track, with a real island and "summer" feel. If you only listen to one song from this album, it has to be this. 10/10
8. Raining Men > Featuring Nikki Minaj, an uplifting song for all women out there with problems with men. It will have you dancing with your girlfriends and put in a good mood. 8/10
9.Read more ›
not to like about her?! A truly cracking voice; unforced beauty,
and the capacity to mix up feistiness and charm in equal measure.
However, five albums in and the world's music press has not spoken
with one voice about her new release 'Loud'. Truth-be-told it's
had a very mixed reception. I guess it depends what you want from
pop music. This is, after-all, pop with a capital P but the album
displays a variety and breadth which, without achieving overall
sonic coherence, is nonetheless hugely entertaining and enjoyable.
An enormous tribe of writers, co-writers and producers have been
hard at work in the kitchen to deliver this eleven-course feast
to the table. It is consequently a bit of a mixed-bag but I did
not experience this as an inherent or disqualifying weakness.
You will doubtless have already heard the marvellous single
'Only Girl (In The World)'. I am led to believe that it has
been ripping up the parquet on dancefloors all over the land!
It is an irrisistible hands-in-the-air anthem to equal Ms GaGa's
very best efforts. (The evident kinship does no harm to either!)
'Complicated', too, receives a stirring performance! It is a
curious composition which can't quite make up its mind whether
it wants to stroll along nonchalantly or stomp up and down the
stairs with big boots on! It ends up managing to do both.
The harmonies are delightful and the fearsome top notes thrilling!
'California King Bed' is a lovely piece pitched somewhere between
a tender love song and a full-on power ballad.Read more ›
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
Loving Rihanna's CD good music sounds good so refreshing, enjoyed every single track.Published 1 month ago by Paulette
I sincerely have bought this album for "S&M" and "Mand Down", but I must reckon it has other good songs in it ("what's my name", "Only girl (in the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marco
If you are acoustically challenged you will really enjoy this. Rihanna has the vocal range of a corpulent slug vomiting into a tin bucket.Published 1 month ago by Cooper Richards
The only reason I buy this CD, "What my name, and the only girl in the world, those are the most two songs l like. Good for the price.Published 3 months ago by Kazeen