- Audio CD (23 Nov. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Virgin EMI
- ASIN: B002QB1910
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,242 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Rated R CD
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Rated R is the fourth studio album from award-winning artist Rihanna, featuring her first new material since the multi-platinum selling Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007. First single "Russian Roulette" was written and produced by Ne-Yo, whose long track record with Rihanna includes the hits "Unfaithful", "Hate That I Love You" and "Take A Bow". Sharing producer / writer credits on the album are Chase & Status, Stargate, Justin Timberlake, The-Dream, Tricky Stewart and more.
In every sense, Rihanna is an extraordinary pop star. Still only 21, she has sold 12 million records worldwide, and bagged the longest-running British number one single of the decade with Umbrella – a song with a perfect title for 2007’s rainy summer, which, nevertheless, had an oddly stark and far-reaching sound for its time.
Two years on, her new LP nods towards adult material in its title as she comes of age, and also follows her assault earlier this year by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, the results of which were shown in a horrific leaked photograph, the ghosts of which Rihanna works through here. She sounds bolder and braver as a consequence, pushing her strangeness as a pop star to the next level.
Mad House sets the album’s mood well, beginning like a dubstep track before a male voice cuts through the gloom: “Ladies and gentlemen – to those among you who are easily frightened we suggest you turn away now. To those of you who think they can take it, we say welcome.” Imagine Michael Jackson’s Thriller made terrifyingly modern, with Rihanna’s subsequent invitations – “come on, come on in” – both baiting and seducing her listeners.
As the album jabs and stutters onwards, her Barbadian vowels still conjure up the bluntness of reggae delivery, and continue to give her sound directness and edge. The sounds that surround it are more of a mixed bag, however – fantastic when they are icily futuristic on the dark electronica of G4L and Hard, less so on the Latin-flavoured trance of Te Amo, or Slash’s rock guitar theatrics on Rockstar 101.
Rated R’s lyrics are its calling cards, however, glowering darkly in songs like Fire Bomb, Russian Roulette and Cold Case Love. Many hint towards her relationship with Brown – “what you did to me was a crime”; “I cant wait to see your face when the front windows break”, ”all I’ve got are these photographs” – but they take them to the heights of grand, sci-fi cinema, with Rihanna turning into a revenge-hunting, firebrand diva. The stronger she sounds, the more it suits her, too.
Rihanna has achieved so much already, and this album suggests she will continue to do so in widescreen, and on her own terms. --Jude Rogers
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Top Customer Reviews
Rated R is a very personal journal of the events that Rihanna has been through the past year; she experiments with new musical sounds completely, such as on the lead single "Russian Roulette," which is very reminiscent of "Question Existing" from the smash "Good Girl Gone Bad," though much better in quality (not to say the latter wasn't good, which it was!). Though while she investigates new and unheard musical adventures that the public would never come to expect from RiRi, she also keeps it within her boundaries by achieving success with the likes of "Wait Your Turn," which still isn't the generic-sounding same old you hear from most of Rihanna's peers these days. Other songs exploring her new side are the pop-rock/alternative number "Fire Bomb," as well as "Cold Case Love," an epic six minute build-up that is one heck of a song. She also maintains the catchiness of her past music on tracks such as "Rude Boy," which wouldn't go amiss on "Good Girl Gone Bad," and fierce, over the top tracks such as "G4L" bring out the more agressive, angry side in Rihanna, similar to the likes of "Breakin' Dishes," though she takes it up a level here.
There is honestly no filler on this effort, believe me when I say. People need to take this album as it is, instead of complaining about the lack of dance songs, or leave it. It's a shame the sole one-star review on this page has reviewed the album based on a simple case of parental advisory instead of the actual quality, which shows STRONG artistic development and creativity.
All in all, fantastic. Absolutely recommended.
Yes, it's darker and edgier than her previous work, but that makes no difference as it works alongside Rihanna's stunning vocals. It's definitely an album that's in the same vein as the song "Disturbia", so if you're looking for something along the lines of her "S.O.S" or "Umbrella" songs, then this may not be the album for you.
Album highlights for me include Rockstar 101, Russian Roulette, Fire Bomb, G4L, The Last Song and my personal favourite, Cold Case Love. Definitely one I'll be buying...
"Russian Roulette" is a powerful and haunting experience when one listens to it, contrasting with the magnificent and teasing "Rude Boy", "Rockstar 101" and "Wait Your Turn", and the helpless love of "Photographs" and "Stupid in Love". My favourite tracks on the album has to be "Te Amo", "Cold Case Love" and "The Last Song", which happens to be the last three tracks on the album: a great build up and left the best songs until last - PERFECT! "Cold Case Love" is the highlight of this album: a long track that builds and builds to phenomenal euphoric feeling that leaves you questioning life, pondering on what is normal and just wanting more.
The fact that most people find this to be her weakest album, I believe is because there are not floor-jamming, butt-kicking, dance-all-night pop tracks that she displays as in "Pon de Replay", "SOS", "Umbrella", "Don't Stop The Music", "Shut up and Drive" in her previous albums.Read more ›
The album begins with an interlude "Mad House." This sets the tone of the album, and is a great interlude. However, I would have loved for it to have been made into a full song.
The next song "wait your turn" is not the best song on the album, but it is solid and is good lyrically. It has quite a dark tone to it, and the chorus is catchy. You may not like it on first listen but it is a grower.
"Hard" is a song I liked on first listen. It speaks of being strong emotionally and is very relevant to Rihannas own lift. It feels empowering to listen to.
"Stupid in Love" is the first ballad of the album. It is hard to not see the significance behind this song which is what makes it so powerful. I think everyone can relate to this song in a way.
"Rockstar 101" is different to anything Rihannas every done before. It didn't do to well in the charts, but it's chorus is one I couldn't get out of my head.
"Russian Roulette" was the first single of the album. When I first heard it I was disappointed. But this is another song that grows on you, and shows how much Rihanna has grown musically.
"Fire bomb" is one of the best kept secrets of the album, and in my opinion very underrated. It is not a song that would be released as a single but it is a very good song and one that you would probably like even if you weren't a Rihanna fan.
"Rude boy" is the smasher of the album.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quick delivery and good quality, expensive but needed quick for gift forgot about so no time to shop for best cheaper dealPublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very pleased exactly as pictured just what i wanted so ordered twoPublished 10 months ago by lady d
So bad, I think Rihanna has more than peaked. I probably only listened to this once, wish I bought it as a CD because at least then I would have been able to drop it off at a... Read morePublished 15 months ago by 1234