One of R&B’s young sensations, Rihanna, has arrived again with her third album, “Good Girl Gone Bad.” After her two previous albums, “Music of the Sun” and “A Girl Like Me,” she has finally secured her spot in the music world this time around. The album dropped on Tuesday, June 5, 2007. In “Good Girl Gone Bad,” Rihanna worked with artists like Ne-Yo, Jay-Z, Timbaland, and Justin Timberlake. There are potential hits all over the album, except for a few. Stripping away the Caribbean sounds, Rihanna is no longer that one-hit-wonder (or perhaps, few-hits-wonder). She is here to stay.
“Good Girl Gone Bad” starts off with one of the biggest hits today, “Umbrella” (featuring Jay-Z). It is hard to not catch anyone going, “-ella, -ella, aye, aye,aye” after hearing it on the radio (which plays quite frequently). It feels like only Rihanna can pull off something like that. “Umbrella” is just the beginning of Rihanna’s renewed career. With the help of Jay-Z, it will do nothing but further her along in the music world.
While listening to it, it almost seems like it is two albums combined in one. The first half is generally more on the dance-pop side with a 1980s twist. The rest of the album leans more on the typical R&B side. It is nearly impossible to play Rihanna’s new album without wanting to dance along. However, that’s the thing about this album. It has established Rihanna as a dance-pop artist. Then again, it doesn’t take away the fact that she has some good regular R&B songs though.
“Shut Up and Drive” is her next single. The sample on this track is New Order’s “Blue Monday.” It is kind of doubtful that this song will do better than “Umbrella” on the charts, but it is not a bad choice.
Preferably, all the tracks in between “Umbrella” and “Shut Up and Drive” would be fantastic dance hits. In order, the best out of the three are “Don’t Stop the Music,” Breakin’ Dishes,” and then “Push Up On Me.” The beats are so good in the songs that even a teacher has got to tap their feet to them.
“Hate That I Love You” (featuring Ne-Yo) makes a turn on the album, which sets up for the rest of the typical R&B sound. This slow song sounds very much like the average Ne-Yo songs, like “Sexy Love.” It is the only real ballad on the album and it is done beautifully.
“Good Girl Gone Bad” ends the album with a good track, which entitled the same as the album title.
Those were the good tracks. Now, here go the songs that wouldn’t fit for the radio. The beginning of “Sell Me Candy” has a small reminiscent of the upcoming Candy Hill’s “Juicy.” Although in general, it is a good song, it would be a dangerous move to release it as a single. Releasing two singles from two artists sounding somewhat similar is not a good idea, especially with the time interval. “Rehab” and “Question Existing” have good lyrics, but they are not going to be hits. Even with the help of Timberlake in “Rehab” both vocally (barely) and lyrically, the songs are just simply not meant for radio.
Overall, “Good Girl Gone Bad” is a great album from Rihanna. She’s only 19 years old, but she has grown so much. This album will easily chart in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. There are plenty of songs on here that are potential hits, so Rihanna has nothing to worry about. The only worry is choosing which single to release at the right time. This Barbadian princess is not going anywhere after an album like this. It is a good sign there is much anticipation on what else the artist has in store after listening to a new album. And that’s what Rihanna delivers.