Has Rihanna lost ‘it’ in R8 campagne?
There was a time where Rihanna released albums like it was no big deal. From 2009 until 2012, every November there was a new Rihanna record in stores and before that she released new material almost every year as well. She stopped this tradition and took time to work on a fresh musical direction. Earlier this year she came back with ‘FourFiveSeconds’, a duet with Kanye West and Paul McCartney and the first single of her R8 project. This week, she launched the second single ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’. The songs are quite different in terms of style and genre, but the thing they have in common is that both are quite disappointing and tuneless.
Ok, don’t get me wrong, I love myself some Rihanna. Over the past few years she has released monster hit after monster hit with great tracks like ‘Diamonds’, ‘We Found Love’, ‘Man Down’, ‘Stay’ and many more. All strong and radio friendly pop tracks with personality. It seems ‘RiRi’ is tired of these hitseeking productions and chose another path. Around the release of ‘FourFiveSeconds’ she told journalists that she finally is producing the music she really wants to make. While I admire this step and I think it is brave to step away from the easily produced hits, I have to admit the new stuff just is not good enough. Good for her for trying something new and more stripped back on the collaboration with Kanye and McCartney, but her voice sounded grating at times and the track itself was kind of dull and would have never been such a hit if she did not attach her name to it. There was no clear hook or anything compelling in the melody for that matter.
Now there is ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’, a fiery urban banger, once again about her dollar bills. The chorus, for as far as there really is one, is a bit tuneless and there is not such a thing as progression or a build up throughout the track. Of coure the second verse has sassy lyrics and bitchy delivery by ‘bad gal RiRi’ and that’s entertaining, but it is nothing we haven’t heard before from her, so it is not all that ‘phresh’ and new. Still, the song is already smashing on iTunes so people seem to like it (or at least buy it because it is Rihanna), so who am I to say she has lost it. Although I usually am not the person to tell you ‘Queen B’ does everything better in this case I would say, some notes could have been taken while listening to Beyoncé’s self titled album that showed artistic growth, experiments and fresh sounds, without losing the strong melodies and hit worthy hooks. To finish this all on a positive note, the artwork for ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ is spot on! The styling is brilliant and the picture itself is outstanding. If only the music would keep up with the visuals on this one.