Released: November 12, 2010
Label: Def Jam & SRP
Genre: dance-pop, R&B.
Producer: Alex da Kid, Tricky Stewart, Ester Dean, Mel & Mus, Polow Da Don, The Runners, Sandy Vee, Sham, Soundz, Stargate.
Rihanna was a global superstar by 2010. After the smashing success of her groundbreaking album “Good Girl Gone Bad,” Rihanna went on to release the successful “Rated R…” which continued her streak of number ones on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Rihanna’s fifth studio album “Loud” was released November 12, 2010. Defined as a R&B album with elements of dance-pop, Loud was a huge departure from 2009’s Rated R.
Rated R was deemed to be Rihanna’s response to the 2009 assault from her then -boyfriend singer Chris Brown. With a more darker and foreboding tone compared to her previous works, Rated R was her most mature and ostentatious LP so far. Wanting to lighten the mood and have fun, Loud is just that. Fun. Vibrant. Sexy. Colorful. Bold. A masterpiece in the flesh.
During the conception of this album, the Vice President of Def Jam Records at the time wanted the album to be compared to Thriller, wanting to make sure each song was a bonafide hit in its own way. & to be completely honest, it was.
Over 200 songs were written and collected for the album, & the 11 songs that are on the final pressing of the album are truly flawless.
The rollout of “Loud” was executed so perfectly, & she influenced a whole decade of pop music in regards to stellar production, organic vocal performances from Fenty that makes it to where NO one does the songs on this record like she does..& artistic freedom. Loud was where we saw Rihanna become free. Become liberated. Comfortable sexually. & at the tender age of 22, released one of the greatest pop albums of the 21st century.
Peaking at number 3 on the Billboard 200 & number 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Charts respectively, Loud was certified 3x platinum by the RIAA.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you: Rihanna’s “Loud.”
Written by Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm, Ester Dean.
Sticks & stones may break my bones, but chains & whips excite me…
S&M kicks off the album & sets the tone for what will come! An ode to sex, sadomasochism, bondages, BDSM fetishes & the sexual fantasies of the singer. Rihanna stated the sexual lyrics shouldn’t be taken so literal because from a metaphorical standpoint, we know that people are going to talk, no matter what.
The music video for the song was banned in certain places for the content, but mainly was Rihanna fighting back at the media for the constant slut shaming she had to endure.
A remix of the song was also released that featured Britney Spears, & the record shot to number one, giving Rihanna her tenth number one record on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The song contains an interpolation of The Cure’s “Let’s Go To Bed.”
What’s My Name featuring Drake
Written by Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Ester Dean, Traci Hale & Aubrey Graham.
What’s My Name featuring Drake was originally planned to be a remix, but made the final cut for the album. The mid-tempo electro-R&B track is playful, and has themes of sex and romance incorporated. It became Rihanna’s 8th number one record on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and certified 6x platinum by the RIAA.
Cheers (Drink to That)
Written by Andrew Harr, Jermaine Jackson, Stacy Barthe, Laura Pergolizzi, Corey Gibson, Chris Ivery, Robyn Fenty, Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards, Avril Lavigne & Scott Spock.
Cheers is a pop rock & reggaeton feel good record about letting loose and having a good time. It’s one of Rihanna’s most carefree records, & basically sums up the meaning of Loud. Cheers became Rihanna’s nineteenth top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, & was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA. The song samples “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne & “Gin & Juice” by Snoop Dogg.
Written by Jamal Jones & Ester Dean.
Fading is one of my favorite songs of Rihanna’s! It is also one of the highlights of Loud due to Rihanna’s vocal performance and the sample of Enya’s One By One.
Fading tells a story of a relationship that is slowly dying and the singer realizes that it’s time to move on.
Only Girl (In the World)
Written by Crystal Johnson, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen & Sandy Wilhelm
A LEAD SINGLE!!!! And at the time, Rihanna was truly the only girl in this world. The dance-pop record’s lyrics state that she is dying for her lover’s affection because she wants to feel like she is the only girl in the world. She is demanding his love and affection!
The song is Rihanna’s ninth number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
California King Bed
Written by Andrew Harr, Jermaine Jackson, Priscilla Renea & Alex Delicata.
California King Bed deserved so much more as a single. The rock song with R&B influences is one of Rihanna’s best vocal performances. From a lyrical standpoint, the song is a break-up song that talks about the relationship that’s heading towards its final stages.
Written by Shama Joseph, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas, Shontelle Layne & Robyn Fenty.
Man Down is a SONG! It is totally one of Rihanna’s best records. The songwriters for this song were inspired to write a song like Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff,” but from a woman’s perspective.
From a lyrical standpoint, the song has Rihanna being a fugitive after murdering her attacker. The reggae “murder ballad” with elements of raga and electronic music also has Rihanna discussing the chain of events leading up to the murder, and regretting the act while crying to her mother..due to the fact that he was somebody’s son.
The song was met with excellent reviews when it was released due to Rihanna paying homage to her Caribbean roots, it embodied Rihanna’s vibrant personality and is very reminiscent to her Rated R album with such a dark and haunting record. The song was a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop charts.
Man Down’s video caused a lot of controversy, & Rihanna was criticized for her portrayal of “cold, calculated execution of murder” in the music video ….and argued that murdering a rapist as socially acceptable justice is not good. The video tells the story of the character being raped and murdered the guy for assaulting her. It brought forth a taboo topic to the mainstream and I thank Rihanna for doing so.
Raining Men featuring Nicki Minaj
Written by Melvin Hough II, Rivelino Wouter, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas & Onika Maraj.
A collaboration! I lowkey miss these ladies collaborating together because Raining Men is a BOP! The hip hop influenced song contains a sample of The Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men.”
Written by Christopher “Tricky” Stewart & Ester Dean.
Complicated is one of Rihanna’s best songs vocally. I don’t know how to explain how perfect this song is, but just know it’s the one! The song is about two people who are in love with each other, but feel that the other partner is very complicated. Love is always complicated. We all can relate to this record!
Written by Kenneth Coby, Ursula Yancy & Robyn Fenty.
ROBYN RIHANNA FENTY WON WITH Skin. The sultry R&B ballad with elements of dub-step soft rock & dance-pop is a fan favorite and one of her sexiest songs to date. Skin is about lovers wanting to see each other in their skin..Rihanna’s sensuality is totally brought out in this record. 10s across the board.
Love the Way You Lie (Part II) featuring Eminem
Written by Alexander Grant, Holly Hafermann & Marshall Mathers.
But you’ll always be my hero, even though you’ve lost your mind..
sings Rihanna on the version of Love The Way You Lie that is from the woman’s point of view. This version is my favorite because Rihanna sings it so beautifully that you almost forget about the meaning of the song. Eminem closes the song with his explosive verse and overall the song is just very amazing.
Rihanna’s “Loud” stands the test of time because she was exactly what 2010 needed. She set the tone for the decade in regards to popular music and hasn’t looked back.
While we wait for her heavily anticipated ninth studio album, revisiting Loud gives us hope that this new era will have the same results that Loud had: an amazing rollout, hit singles, new sound and image..& a carefree Rihanna. This album was nominated for Album of The Year at the 2011 Grammys and was honestly robbed of it because..Rihanna was truly the only girl in the world. -MJ