Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Good Girl Gone Bad - Rihanna

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Ok, so perhaps I should have realised that whilst I was slagging off Rihanna's latest single Umbrella and telling her to give up it had actually already been number one for about three years...but as ever, I don't confuse commercial success with artistic merit. And the song is still, in my opinion at least, dreadful. I wonder how well it would have done without the Jay-Z connection?

And whilst Amerie can play the commercial game and still deliver an album packed with her own personality, it's not a trick Rihanna can replicate. Three albums in, any sign of her own personality has long been lost...although given what I've seen of her publicity drives that may not be a bad thing.

So as a "blank canvas" style idea, this isn't too bad. Timbaland pops up to give us Lemme Get That, (and indeed two other tracks), which surely should be the song of the summer and Justin Timberlake adds a touch of frisson to the proceedings on Rehab (which may just be a rip-off of What Goes Around but is still worth a listen). Given the success of SOS (with it's Tainted Love sample) the trick is repeated here on Shut Up And Drive, this time appropriating New Order's Blue Monday. It's not as good as SOS (alas, what is?) but it's still an addictively catchy tune. Don't Stop The Music is a cracker too, with its euro-dance backing.

As you might expect of course there is more than a fair share of dross on the album, but just for the great tracks alone this is worth it. She may be a somewhat dull pop-star, but with the right backing she can sound like a star.

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