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Music

Album Review: Rihanna

Lightens Up on Loud

Rihanna - LoudA curious thing happens midway through Rihanna’s fifth album. After emoting her way through an overproduced power ballad complete with a screamingly wanky guitar solo (California King Bed), she rolls out a tinny keyboard and rhythm box playing a reggae beat, and starts singing about shooting a man in a train station. The song, Man Down, is both sinister and silly: At last, it sounds as if she’s actually letting her hair down.

Loud is supposed to mark Rihanna’s return to the sassy, umbrella-waving form that preceded ex-boyfriend Chris Brown’s assault on her last February. Although Rated R, the dark album she recorded in its wake, was a critical hit, its chart performance didn’t reach supernova heights. For Loud, she apparently gathered 100 writers and producers to churn out songs, giving them “guidelines and a bunch of topics,” as she told Billboard, and then picked and chose from their offerings.

— Story continues at The National Post

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