by RihannaRihanna


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In 2012, right on schedule, Rihanna delivered her fourth annual November album. The singer took a different route with the lead single. She didn't go with a dramatic ballad like "Russian Roulette" or a big dance number like "Only Girl (In the World)" and "We Found Love." Instead, the nod went to a midtempo pop ballad, "Diamonds" -- as in "We're like diamonds in the sky" (rather than stars in a mine), a simple and effective, light in meaning yet massive in sonics, quasi-processional. Even with that change of pace, the possibility of it signaling an overall change in direction was slight. Not only is Unapologetic just as varied as Rihanna's past albums -- it's another timely refresh of contemporary pop music -- but it's a little more exploratory and a whole lot deeper, too. Continuing the trend that began on Rated R, Rihanna's at her best when she's flaunting. This goes for "Pour It Up," a characteristically chilly and booming Mike Will collaboration that might as well be a sequel to "Bandz a Make Her Dance," the producer's hit with Juicy J. Wrapped in a serene sneer, Rihanna's trash talk is something else. Moments such as that one are so convincing that the few everywoman heart-on-sleeve songs -- with the exception of the massive, slamming, wailing power ballad that is "What Now" -- don't sound all that natural. Two of the album's most intriguing, contrasting, and not-so-everywoman tracks appear consecutively during the latter half. Both of them were written and produced by Terius "The-Dream" Nash and Carlos "Los" McKinney. "Nobody's Business," flecked with elements from Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," is a beaming if somewhat belligerent disco-house duet with Chris Brown. Rihanna's partner proposes to make out in a Lexus prior to proclaiming that the relationship "ain't nobody's business." The celebration is followed by "Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary," conjoined songs with a wide theatrical scope akin to that of the-Dream's own "Nikki, Pt. 2/Abyss." Over a swelling and receding production with echoes of Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis' Eyes," Rihanna mourns ("Felt like love struck me in the night/I pray that love don't strike twice"), then confesses ("Mother Mary, I swear I wanna change"), then surrenders ("I'm prepared to die in the moment"). Perhaps no one should read anything into it. The same could be said of "No Love Allowed," which comes along a little later. Even with a captivating, drum-less reggae groove, it's hard to hear lines like "Your love hit me to the core" and "It's so foolish how you keep me wanting more" and think that she's fine and could be singing about anyone. While this is a fine, if uneven album, the only way to enjoy a significant portion of it is by taking it as pure entertainment. Good luck.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/19/2012
Label: Def Jam
UPC: 0602537220595
catalogNumber: 001781102
Rank: 7129

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rihanna   Primary Artist
James Poyser   Keyboards
Justin Parker   Piano
Steve Wyreman   Bass,Guitar
Sam Dew   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Evan Rogers   Executive Producer
George Jackson   Composer
Carlos McKinney   Composer,Producer
Carl Sturken   Executive Producer
Ernest Wilson   Composer
Kuk Harrell   Vocal Engineer,Vocal Producer
Deborah Mannis-Gardner   Sample Clearance
Stargate   Producer
Benny Blanco   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Sia   Composer
J-Bo   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Donnie Scantz   Engineer
Bart Schoudel   Engineer
Justin Parker   Arranger,Composer,Producer
David Guetta   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Future   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Shaffer Smith   Composer
James Fauntleroy   Composer
Rob Kinelski   Engineer
Miles Walker   Engineer
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen   Composer,Programming,Engineer,Instrumentation
Giorgio Tuinfort   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Brian Kennedy   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Warren "Oak" Felder   Composer
Seth Firkins   Engineer
Ester Dean   Composer
Steve Wyreman   Composer
Ciarra Pardo   Art Direction
Marcos Tovar   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Brian Seals   Composer
Gabriela Schwartz   Marketing
Leshawn Rogers   Composer
Mikky Ekko   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Additional Production
Tor Erik Hermansen   Composer,Programming,Instrumentation
Mario Hugo   Illustrations
Timothy Thomas   Composer
Olivia Waithe   Composer
Alejandro Barajas   Engineer
Theron Thomas   Composer
Benjamin Levin   Composer
Labrinth   Producer
Xavier Stephenson   Engineer
Status   Producer
Nicky Romero   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Elof Loelv   Composer,Producer,Additional Production
Nick Rotteveel   Composer
Dream   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Terius Nash   Composer,Producer
Michael L. Williams   Composer
No Id   Producer
Kevin Cossum   Composer
Daniela Rivera   Engineer
Alexander Izquierdo   Composer
Nayvadius Wilburn   Composer
Mike WiLL Made It   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Robyn Fenty   Composer,Executive Producer
Paul Norris   Engineer
Ronald "Flippa" Colson   Composer
Andrew Liftman   Basic Track
Denisea Andrews   Composer
Sam Dew   Composer
Parker Ighile   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Nathan Cassells   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Sean Fenton   Composer
Aamir Yaqub   Engineer
Roc Nation   Executive Producer,Management
Mike Gaydusek   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Josh Campbell   Engineer

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