Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best Albums of 2009: 7. Rihanna's "Rated R"

7. Rihanna “Rated R”

It’s hard not to let the heart wrenching story of the woman behind this year’s best pop album not seep into a review of her work, so I won’t. Rihanna shows incredible bravery and strength throughout “Rated R,” facing the hurricane that was her personal life head-on over the course of thirteen impeccably written and produced tracks.

Whether she declares that “I’ll never play the victim/I’d rather be a stalker” over a storm of synths and rock guitars on the shitkicking “Rockstar 101,” scolds herself for falling so hard for the wrong man on the gorgeous “Stupid In Love,” or confesses “I just want to set you on fire/So I won’t have to burn alone/ Then you’ll know where I’m coming from,” on the album’s definitive highlight “Fire Bomb,” there’s never any doubt that she’s telling the whole truth and nothing but. Chris Brown’s new album finds the disgraced performer stuck in self-pitying, victim mode, and thankfully Rihanna didn’t go that route; she was too busy surviving, and in the process releasing the best album of her career.

Don’t they call that poetic justice, or something?

No comments: