Rihanna / Rated R: Remixed

Rated R: Remixed

Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), better known as simply Rihanna (pronounced /riˈɑːnə/ ree-YAH-na), is a Barbadian R&B recording artist and songwriter.[2] Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a recording career under the guidance of record producer Evan Rogers. She subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for then-label head Jay-Z.[3]

In 2005, Rihanna released her debut studio album, Music of the Sun, which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart and features the Billboard Hot 100 hit single “Pon de Replay“. Less than a year later, she released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006), which peaked within the top five of the Billboard albums chart, and produced her first US number one hit single, “SOS“, as well as Billboard Hot 100 top ten entries “Unfaithful” and “Break It Off“. Rihanna’s third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), peaking at number two on the Billboard 200, featured five top ten hits including three US number one hit singles—”Umbrella“, “Take a Bow” and “Disturbia“—and the worldwide hit “Don’t Stop the Music“. The album was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Umbrella,” which features Jay-Z.[4][5] Her fourth studio album, Rated R, was released in November 2009, and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200. Its first three singles, “Russian Roulette“, “Hard” and “Rude Boy” peaked within the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, with “Rude Boy” peaking at number one. She will release her fifth studio album, Loud, in November 2010, which features the lead single “Only Girl (In the World)“.

Rihanna has achieved seven number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since first appearing on the chart on June 11, 2005, which is the most by any artist during that time span.[6] As of July 23, 2010, Rihanna has sold approximately 5,563,000 album units in the US.[7] She has received several accolades, including the 2007 World Music Awards for World’s Best-Selling Pop Female Artist and Female Entertainer of the Year, as well as the 2008 American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist.[8][9] She serves as one of Barbados’s honorary cultural ambassadors.[10] In January 2010, Rihanna received two Grammy Awards for Jay-Z‘s 2009 single “Run This Town“.

The Analysis:

Mad House [Straight Jacket Mix]—-Musically, this is a nice track…full of blips and bleeps but featuring little to none of the vocal on it. This only serves as a brief warm-up and lead in to…

Russian Roulette [Black Russian Mix]—- Bass heavy from the onset and delivered with some pretty great synth lines, this is tailored made for the dance floor…hands down. The swirls and the atmosphere provide a build-up that will leave you a bit frenzied as you wait and wait for the vocal to enter. Once Rihanna begins to deliver her vocal you are at once comfortable and finding a smile on your face…this is a huge track…loaded with those extended interludes that takes a fantastic song and gives it even more muscle.

Rockstar 101 [Teacher’s Pet Mix]—-Rihanna delivers her vocal from the very first beat of the song….the huge chorus put on a continuous loop that repeats over and over  and over until the heavier bass kicks in and delivers a bit of exctasy…making a dance floor go crazy. I love the attitude of this mix…taking the smart ass vocal of Rihanna and allowing it to be delivered with even more attitude. when the vocals overlay each other, you are whipped into a frenzy….this is a keeper!!

Wait Your Turn [Can’t Wait Mix]—-This has that huge 90’s dance floor sound…the bass smacks you upside the head and the gentle synth swirls are a bit slow to come but the build-up is worth the wait. This is a great song in its original form…this remix only makes it even larger and more forceful…this is a masterful mix…I prefer this over the original…I love the phrasing and the way the vocal is drawn out…just wonderful!!!

Photographs [35mm Mix]—-Beginning with a synth beat that is so Go-Go’s inspired, this track which features Will.I.Am is a rather large one. Delivered with enough staccato beats and heavy synth to keep the dance floor flooded, this is pretty much true to the original…despite a bit of vocal manipulation. This is one huge dance track!!

Rude Boy [Vitamin S Mix]—-This is fantastic….the track builds and builds giving you a frenzied feel…until the bass beats from your speakers and sets you down heavy in Rihanna land. This has just enough of a stop and start kind of synth that makes you live for the chorus…the refrains are pretty true to form, but the middle of the song is an explosion of feel good synths that will have you sweating and begging for more.

Hard [Granite Mix]—-Featuring Young Jeezy, this mix begins with that familiar dance floor sound that the 90’s made so huge with countless remixes of about every single released during the decade. This is full of that progressive techno beat that builds and builds….it’s main purpose to drive people into a frenzy. I love the chorus of this song…the way Ri-Ri draws out her vocal and the entrance of Jeezy serves to beef up the song and give it even more credibility. This is my favorite from this release.

G4L [Guns In The Air Mix]—-This is pretty awesome as well….kind of tying the place for my favorite track on this remix release…the vocal is trance inspired and the music serves to only beef up that feeling. This has a nice progressive beat that leaves me with a huge smile on my face. This is energetic and manipulates the vocal just enough to keep you interested and from becoming bored. This is choice!!

Fire Bomb [Molotov Mix]—-Building and building behind some heavy bass and literally swirling synths, you feel a sense of relief once the track finally kicks into high gear. This is stellar as well…leaving you flat on your back after the ecstatic mix that is loaded with energy and attitude. This is great!

Stupid In Love [Small Room Mix]—-This has that nice house piano sound that again was a shining light in the 90’s remix world. Rihanna enters with a much more tender vocal…the song really deserves a much more gentle treatment and looses some of its intensity in the reconstruction.

****out of 4


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