When Rihanna had a hugely successful third album in "Good Girl Gone Bad" and a string of hits including the monster hit "Umbrella" there no doubt some label bosses who struggled to think how they would top its success. And when at the start of the year Rihanna was assaulted by her then boyfriend Chris Brown it sent everything into a spiral. Many assumed Rihanna would lay low and not release any music for awhile but reports emerged that she was working on a harder, edgier sound for a new album due this year.
But unlike most pop albums this album really shines in the mid-tempo numbers. “Fire Bomb” sounds like the theme song to the best road movie ever and would sound great coming out of a radio near you this summer. “Photographs” is one of the best productions Will.I.Am has lent his name to all year. A simple, delicate number on lost love Rihanna puts that new found vocal depth to good use and sells this one to the utmost degree.