After seven years of No. 1 singles, Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” is her first album to top Billboard charts, although it’s difficult to understand why.
Rihanna sings the clichéd simile “Shine bright like a diamond,” the deeply rooted message of her lead single, “Diamond,” as if she’s attempting to imitate Nicki Minaj’s infamous singing style. Ironically, nothing about the song shines — it’s just a failed attempt at an English accent ringing out over a boring beat.
According to “Numb,” Rihanna lost her ability to feel — whether or not Chris Brown had anything to do with it is revealed a few tracks later.
Apparently her sense of touch isn’t the only thing she’s living without.
There’s also the lack of creativity, worthwhile beats or memorable lyrics that plague the record.
At least her 2006 hit, “Unfaithful,” displayed some emotion and vocal range. “Unapologetic,” however, is full of insignificant chant and clutter.
“Phresh Out the Runway,” for example, is often incomprehensible, but at least it stands out as the catchiest track on the record, equipped with a great beat.
Rihanna might have had the “it” factor at one point — perhaps Chris Brown "knocked" it out of her because she doesn’t have it anymore, during "No Love Allowed": "I was flying til you knocked me to the floor."
The couple collaborates on the 10th track of the album, which sounds a little like a disco tune, to let everyone know their relationship is “Nobody’s Business.” It’s no exception to the poor quality of the rest of the album.
“Get It Over With” brings the album to an end. Its title mirrors what listeners might feel as the song drags on and Rihanna repeats the same lyric over and over again: “Get it over with / I see you rolling in (in the clouds) / Let's get it over with / Get high and float again (in the clouds).”
Rihanna should change her unapologetic tone if she ever expects to garner any genuine sympathy. Maybe sympathy isn’t what she’s after, but if it’s respect, her next album needs be a lot better.