Welcome to Y2K Hits, a column dedicated to exploring the most well-liked albums of the 2000s and the lasting marks they left on the music business and popular culture at giant.
After the success of her first two albums, “Music of Solar” and “A Lady like Me,” the 19-year-old Rihanna was nonetheless trying to go away her everlasting mark on the music business. One in every of Def Jam’s latest signees within the mid-2000s, the Barbadian artist had already acquired mainstream consideration for tracks “SOS,” “Pon de Replay” and “Untrue.” However regardless of top-charting success in her nascent profession, some critics believed that her earlier albums had lacked the boldness wanted to propel her into the subsequent stratosphere of pop stardom.
The eventual follow-up, “Good Lady Gone Dangerous,” was each a departure from the tunes that had put Rihanna on the map in years prior and the kick she wanted to change into the worldwide phenomenon she is at the moment. The album deserted lots of the dancehall and reggae sounds that spanned her first two albums. As a substitute, a medley of dance-pop and R&B populated the tracklist.
The file opens with the hit monitor “Umbrella” that includes Jay Z. This track was one among my first forays into in style music: round 2007-2008, I bear in mind listening to it principally in every single place. “Umbrella” comprises one of the vital recognizable hooks of the previous 20 years: “You’ll be able to stand below my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.” The change from the hi-hat instrumental to the kick drum beat in the course of the track is agreeable to the ear, and Rihanna’s verse at this level may be very melodious.
The 2000s noticed a surge of digital dance pop, and this album contains a few classics of the style. “Don’t Cease the Music” is one such album spotlight, as its bass-heavy beat and layered synth rhythms present a agency instrumental for a traditional nightclub track. Additionally, the hooks within the monitor are catchy, together with the “Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa” pattern from Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin Somethin.”
The aforementioned two songs have been simply a part of the dance-pop and electro-pop craze that will dominate the late 2000s to the early 2010s. Years later, Girl Gaga, Katy Perry and Kesha would comply with within the footsteps of Rihanna and launch songs of their very own that featured electro-pop. Many of those tracks contained easy lyrics, groovy beats, voice alterations and heavy use of synthesizers. Whereas she won’t be the only pioneer of the electro-pop craze, Rihanna actually helped in setting business requirements for the remainder of the last decade.
“Hate that I really like you,” which featured songwriting and vocals from R&B star Ne-Yo, was one other pleasant addition to the number of Rihanna’s file. Whereas the chord development and ballad lyrics are easy, Ne-Yo’s voice supplies a richness to the efficiency. His harmonies with Rihanna towards the tip are extremely partaking.
Whereas I’ve principally praised the file to date, that’s to not say there aren’t any notable issues. “Shut Up and Drive” is likely one of the extra disappointing songs on the file, because it didn’t appear to match Rihanna’s vocal vary. On reflection, it reveals how far Rihanna has come technically, as her newer tracks comprise way more weighty vocals. As compared, her efficiency in “Shut Up and Drive” feels barren.
Furthermore, the monitor “Say It” felt contrived, as if Def Jam was attempting to pigeonhole Rihanna into sounding just like the R&B vocalists of the ’90s. Once more, it’s necessary to do not forget that she was simply 19 years outdated when this album dropped, so one shouldn’t be too crucial of the blemishes.
If the primary a part of the album feels completely curated to provide top-40 dance-pop hits, the second half is extra restrained, with slower tempos and extra components of R&B within the combine. On this part, “Rehab” is the album’s most tuneful track (and largest forgotten gem). Though the overwhelming tambourine considerably drowns out the piano and string devices, the important thing adjustments, harmonies and melodies make the track a stable pay attention.
The album may’ve used extra of the R&B ballads that Rihanna would produce later in her profession. These ought to have changed among the tunes in the course of the album that finally didn’t ship the most effective manufacturing or vocal performances.
Fortunately, within the reloaded model of the album that will drop a 12 months later, Rihanna added the 2 incredible tracks “Take A Bow” and “Disturbia.” The previous is likely one of the higher R&B ballads in her discography, as she narrates a narrative about getting over her dishonest ex-boyfriend. The melody, together with the piano and synth instrumental, completely match the monitor’s lyrics. Rihanna’s buzzing is seamlessly built-in with the remainder of her verses, culminating in a assured vocal efficiency.
“Disturbia” is one other dance-pop monitor, and its catchy hook and bass drum beat are paying homage to “Don’t Cease the Music.” Nonetheless, the driving beat offers the track the vitality wanted to show it into one other iconic membership track.
Whereas “ANTI” and “Unapologetic” have been later albums that featured higher instrumentals and vocal performances, the highest hits from “Good Lady Gone Dangerous” nonetheless stand tall alongside the most effective songs of Rihanna’s profession. The dance-pop smash hits from the file are nonetheless performed in public venues to this present day and produce again fond reminiscences for these of their 20s and 30s.
Some might argue that the file feels one-dimensional in its proclivity towards nightclub music, however songs like “Rehab” and “Take A Bow” showcased hints of Rihanna’s penchant for balladry earlier than it emerged extra clearly in her later discography. With the advantage of hindsight (and on condition that essentially the most famed tracks have stood the take a look at of time) I can provide this file nothing lower than a really stable grade.
Editor’s Word: This text is a assessment and comprises subjective opinions, ideas and critiques.