Rihanna Unapologetic Album Download
Rihanna’s seventh studio album is intended to challenge our perceptions of Rihanna the Pop Star and Rihanna the Victim. The dissonance between the two is the source of its fascination, but its failures are more mundane.
Rihanna sings a grim rhetorical near the end of her turgid seventh album, Unapologetic: “What’s love without tragedy?” The real question that Rihanna and her songwriters appear to be asking on Unapologetic is, “Who is Rihanna without Chris Brown?” The album is intended to challenge our perceptions of Rihanna the Pop Star and Rihanna the Victim, and its fascination stems from the dissonance between the two. Its story, about a woman’s miserable obsession with a man we know to be her abuser, defies expectations of the traditional survivor’s tale; we want to see a woman learn from her pain and move on, not become stuck in it.
It was already difficult to distinguish Rihanna the pop icon, whom we believe we know from her glamorous image and songs, from Rihanna the “real” Rihanna, whom we believe we know from the bruised “Robyn F.” of her 2009 LAPD police report. Unapologetic welcomes this perplexity. We see the singer as self-assured (“Good Girl Gone Bad”), a superstar isolated by her celebrity (“A Girl Like Me”), and sexually vivacious (“Rude Boy”). This fabricated image of power contradicts her rumored rekindling with Chris Brown, who is best known for Top 40 R&B diarrheatics, a decent Michael Jackson impression, and, infamously, beating the living shit out of Rihanna.
The rest of the album is a synth-pop slog that sounds like it belongs on the same album as Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.” She’s stuck in a bad relationship and entangled in a toxic situation that feels out of her hands (SOUNDS FUN, RIRI!)– themes mirrored in Unapologetic‘s abundance of minor-key treacle. “Right Now” is a perfunctory Ibiza thump that reflects poorly on both her and producer David Guetta, while “Fresh Off the Runway” is capitalist braggadocio (nonsense grade) that is so static that it borders on unmusical. The Auto-Tune on Future’s “Loveeeeeee Song” feature calls to a mind a dog vomiting while Rihanna, in turn, sounds like she’s been roused from a medicated slumber.
Listen to this enticing album project below and share your thoughts on it.