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.