Good Girl Gone Bad
Another great name for Rihanna’s third album would be "Reggae Girl Gone Pop". The Barbados born, up and coming diva has thrown her R&B-reggae roots to the Hollywood wind for mega-superstardom. Without a doubt, Good Girl Gone Bad will reinvent Rihanna into a pop superstar.
The first single is the infectious number one hit, Umbrella, featuring hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. However, don’t be deceived by the song’s hip-hop sound -- the rest of the album is catchy dance beats that could give even Britney Spears a comeback. Complete with production from Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Ne-Yo, Good Girl Gone Bad is every pop star’s dream --a guaranteed hit album.
While Rihanna’s voice sounds like Minnie Mouse being strangled, nearly every song on the album is sticky-pop perfection. "Don’t Stop the Music" has a clever sample from Michael Jackson’s "Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’", which creates a booming club and somewhat techno track. For a moment, I thought the year was 1995 and I was at the Tunnel in New York City recovering from a k-hole!
"Push Up On Me" is reminiscent of an ’80’s Samantha Fox dance song complete with foolish lyrics like, "Let’s play a game, I won’t be a teen / I’ll show you the room, my sexy little thing". Empty-headed lyrics, but powerful beats overflows in songs like "Breakin’ Dishes", "Sell Me Candy" and the second single, "Shut Up & Drive".
Dance is definitely Rihanna’s specialty, which is obvious after enduring the torturous ballads. "Question Existing" is Rihanna’s attempt to be introspective, but her thin voice is unbalanced with the music. This would actually be a great song for Christina Aguilera or Pink. In one part Rihanna whispers, "Entertainment is something I do for a living...it’s not who I am." Girl, please...don’t ask the public to take you seriously, you’re a pop tart -- not Fiona Apple.
"Hate That I Love You" featuring Ne-Yo and the title track, are additional attempts to get "artsy" with guitar and a couple tries at holding notes. Nonetheless, the ballads are definitely snoozers and might be the songs she babbles about most in promotional tours to make her seem like a relevant artist.
Overall, Good Girl Gone Bad is an excellent pop album and will more than likely be the biggest album of her career. Yes, the content is flavorless and the voice is powerless, but Rihanna isn’t asking to be taken seriously -- she is asking to replace Beyonce.
Original Release Date: June 5, 2007.
Label: Island / Def-Jam. ASIN: B000OZ2CZW