Here’s a track from Rihanna’s 2005 debut album, Music of the Sun. With the exception of lead single ‘Pon De Replay,’ this is a largely forgettable album, a weak mix of reggae and dance beats and uninspired performances.
Rihanna stepped up her game a year later with her sophomore release, A Girl Like Me, then really struck gold with 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad. She is a great example of an artist whose evolution happened in real time, release by release. She dropped seven albums during the first eight years of her recording career, each building on the last musically and thematically.
Best Albums of the 2010s – #19
Anti – Rihanna (2016)
After four straight years of new album releases, Rihanna went silent in 2012 before emerging four years later with one of her best albums, Anti.
While I’m a Rihanna stan going back a ways, and still consider Good Girl Gone Bad and Rated R her crowning achievements, it’s hard to deny the groundbreaking qualities of this album.
My final video in the week of women is technically by a man, but DJ Khaled’s role here is basically to deliver very brief opening and closing remarks, and bounce awkwardly in the background in between.
No, this video belongs entirely to Rihanna, and god bless her for it. Shot in the Little Haiti neighborhood in DJ Khaled’s hometown of Miami, this is a gorgeous, sensual clip, drenched in color and sweat. It is also one of the most GIF-able videos of 2017, and every one of those GIFs features Rihanna writhing erotically.
In other words, this is one of the finest uses of film since Citizen Kane.
Rihanna’s ‘SOS’ is another “old” song loved by my daughter Fiona. Given that is was released in 2006, her birth year, I guess that qualifies as an oldie in her book.
Fiona has played this song a lot recently, but her affection for it goes back at least eight years. We unearthed a Facebook video from 2009 of a 3-year-old Fiona dancing like crazy in the backseat of our car to this song.
One of the unfortunate trends of Montauk Madness’ first round was the failure of many women to advance. Of 32 acts appearing in Round Two, only four are female. That is down from 15 of the original 64 participants.
Chalk up the poor performance to some very difficult matchups (Miranda Lambert and Shakira faced Bob Dylan and The Beatles, respectively!) as well as a disheartening lack of appreciation for such artists as Tift Merritt and Lana Del Rey.