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Tag: "rihanna"

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UTG: Album Review – Rihanna ‘Talk That Talk’

Artist: Rihanna
Album: Talk That Talk
Genre: Pop
Label: Def Jam

 

Not that I’d ever hop on the ‘oh won’t someone please think of the children’ bandwagon, but Rihanna’s influence on the younger peeps actually concerns me. Even more so now I’ve had to listen to a whole album at once. When I was growing up, I had the Spice Girls to look at. The odd dodgy revealing outfit aside, they were perfectly respectable icons, preaching about girl power and loving your mum and even safe sex (a message fantastically buried in aRihanna - Talk That Talk Christmas song). The youth of today have Rihanna, who essentially wants to shag everything around her and, memorably, was asked the other month to put more clothes on by a Northern Irish farmer whose field she was using to shoot her latest video. I’m not prudish, but is there really something so bad about wanting your pop stars to wear some clothes? Really? Some corners of the internet (I’m looking at you tumblr) might call this thinking anti-feminist. But if that’s what feminism has become in this day and age, I’m horrified.

The gaudy sexuality Rihanna displays is, at this stage, so forceful as to be ludicrous. Is it some kind of empowerment kick after the whole Chris Brown saga, or are insiders really that desperate to sell records? Is it all an attempt to distract us from the fact her voice sounds like a blunt chainsaw in heat? Talk That Talk is a competent, if banal, offering from this most ubiquitous of pop stars, replete with all the lurid imagery and club beats you’d anticipate. Its catchier songs are decent, its explicit songs woeful, and her emphasis on disarming sex appeal actually devalues the odd song that’s just alright. It all gets lost in the X-rated mire.

Continue reading ‘UTG: Album Review – Rihanna ‘Talk That Talk’’

Soundcheck: Album Review — Drake’s ‘Take Care’

As he prepares to release his sophomore studio album, Take Care, fans and critics continue to speculate whether Drake will top his platinum-selling debut. According to the twenty-five-year-old Young Money superstar, he doesn’t have much to worry about.

Last week, Drake told the L.A. Times, “To be 100% honest … I wasn’t necessarily happy with Thank Me Later. People loved it [but] I just knew what I was capable of with a little more time,” he said. “I’m very confident in Take Care. I definitely made the exact album that I wanted. Will it appear that way to the world? I’m not sure, because its definitely different. It’s not fifteen ‘I’m On Ones’ It’s not  ’She Will’. I’m very happy with Take Care. More so than I’ve ever been with a project.”

The Canadian rapper hopes to showcase his growth as an artist and a person in the nineteen-track album, which includes two bonus songs. With features from Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, The Weeknd, Andre 3000 and Rihanna, among others, Drake said he hoped to create a “consistent” project.

“This album has consistency. You will not hear a piece of music that does not belong,” he said. “The words were really important to me. When you get a young artist and they are on the rise, often the music becomes not what they have going on in their lives or surrounding things, but it starts to lose substance. You can always be like, ‘Man I’m the …’ but I think you have to thread some life in there so there’s something that will last.”

While at times some songs do sound awfully familiar, Take Care does show some lyrical and emotional growth from the young emcee, providing a more introspective, honest look at the inner workings of Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham. The albums leaked last week, (not bad for such a highly-anticipated project) and hit stores today.

Here, a brief review:

“Crew Love”: One of the more puzzling tracks on the album features The Weeknd, who showcases his strong vocals against Drake’s usual flow.  The beat is a back and forth of slow and fast and doesn’t really pick up until minute two.

Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: Album Review — Drake’s ‘Take Care’’

Soundcheck: When Hip-Hop Goes Pop

Mash-ups are a mainstay on the hip hop scene with rappers constantly collaborating to deliver fresh material.  Even the most vicious emcee paired up with the current R&B diva has a natural charm, and we’ve come to expect Rihanna, Beyoncé or Kelly Rowland backing up big verses from big rappers.  Now, it seems that hip hop has crossed over into the pop star realm, blurring the lines between the sugary sweet stylings of pop icons like Britney, Katy and Bieber with the hard-hitting sound of the streets.

We got our biggest dose of the crossover craze when Nicki Minaj announced she would join Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale Tour this year. In a groundbreaking move, fans of pop music’s reigning queen would be shoulder to shoulder with fans of the hottest thing to hit hip hop in years.  What resulted was one hell of a party!

Now, other singers are following suit, and pairing up with some unlikely collaborators. Justin Bieber will throw a little hip hop into the holidays when he releases Under The Mistletoe, on November 1.  The fifteen-track holiday album features a version of “The Little Drummer Boy” with none other than Busta Rhymes. We can’t imagine Rhymes’ grimy, gruff voice singing about the birth of Christ, but we’re all ears.  Other guests on the album will include Usher, Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey.

Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: When Hip-Hop Goes Pop’

 


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