Yes, after an extended absence I am finally back to business of blogging, yaaay! OK, now let’s just cut to the chase cuz there is much that I’d like to discuss over the next few days: this new Rihanna track “We Found Love”?... didn’t like it upon my first, second and seventh listen. I feel like Ri and producer Calvin Harris set their effort meter on “not much” when cooking up this three and half minute ho hum circuit party jingle but the video might have me giving the song another chance.
Six years deep into her ride on the relevancy train and “that Rihanna reign just won’t let up” indeed as album number six(!), the forthcoming Talk That Talk, is due November 18th—- six albums and an impressive arsenal of radio jams both as a lead and/or featured artist and poor Nicole Scherzinger is still trying to make a buzz single happen. However, it is notable that Ri’s video output is equally as impressive as her chart dominance. New clip “We Found Love” left me a bit confused at first—- Is it an ad for twentysomething smokers? A muddy Woodstock rave for the Bieber generation? An anti-drug PSA? A veiled commentary on her relationship with you know who?
What I do know is that for a shiny pop starlet, Rihanna often goes down some pretty dark paths and once again, she is dipping her toes in the pool of relationship dysfunction. Rocking a throwback weave that recalls the “Pon De Replay/SOS” years (which hopefully means that the Ronald McDonald red wigs are done), RiRi’s latest banned from Nickelodeon opus finds her raising all kinds of hell on the streets of Ireland with her blonde boo as the duo’s drugs ‘n’ booze habits set the stage for a montage of Trans Am joy riding, a$$ cheek branding, ribbon vomiting(!) and some good ol’ doing of The Sex. There’s also a “Love The Way You Lie”-esque fire projection going on and a worrisome moment where I thought Miz Forever Unlucky In Love was gonna jack Brit’s pseudo-suicide bathtub bit from “Every Time” but that, thankfully, proved to be a false alarm.
The “what does it all mean?” mystery was solved rather quickly as the Queen of Def Jam has reportedly already tweeted that the relationship depicted in her new clip is a metaphor for drug/alcohol addiction and thus the characters’ relationship is toxic, both literally and figuratively—- I’ll buy it as I feel like the concept was expertly executed and it fits the song’s deceptively cheerful production. So far, the Talk That Talk era seems to be a hybrid of the gritty imagery from Rated R and the pastel-y, muted colors aesthetic of Loud‘s initial creative direction—- the new video even has an “Only Girl”/lip sync for your life sponsored by National Geographic moment as well. The styling? Ehhhh, this time around it’s nothing more that what teenage girls typically rock when they wanna be all rebellious ‘n’ stuff.
OK, so the “We Found Love” clip successfully merges angry Rihanna with cotton candy glam eurodance Ri and suggests that the new album will be all about shiny happy angst? Whatever her personal demons are this time around, you can be sure that a handful of catchy radio jams and accompanying videos will make everything all right and sing-a-long-able. Grade: A
Still not enough Ri for ya? Then give a listen to “Princess of China”, her just leaked collabo with Coldplay, yes Coldplay!, from the group’s upcoming album, Mylo Xyloto.
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