While this blog is primarily about books, I have ventured out into TV-land and given you my opinion on some of the series or movies I’ve been watching. I have another passion, however, which has yet to get out in the spotlight. Most of the time, when I’m reading, I’m also listening to music and prior to moving in with my boyfriend, I spent most of my time on my room and I was playing cd’s from dusk till dawn. Suffice to say that I am quite passionate about music and with this little fortnightly segment, I’ll share some of that passion with you.
Much like is the case with books, I’m not always completely sold on the idea. There are a few artist whom I did not like for a while, only to find myself completely in love with their music all of a sudden, for no apparent reason. The reverse is also possible. I have grown out of more than one artist and for the love of me can’t remember why I liked them to begin with. Two of today’s major pop artists belong to the former category, so let’s take a trip down memory lane to a time where I couldn’t stand Rihanna.
I’ve said it in a previous Musical Monday, but there was a time in my late teens where I started actively looking for music. Even more so because back then, think 2005 to 2010, things that were hot around the world, didn’t seem to be more than lukewarm in Belgium. I remember listening to Lady GaGa’s Just Dance before it became a hit over here and even then we had to get Poker Face and the bluffin’ muffin’ before she got Big in Japan – err, Belgium. So I got to know Rihanna before any of her songs got to the radio or TMF – hence, you summer children might not know this, but I have the age to remember channels like TMF and MTV actually broadcasting videoclips all day. Here you were thinking they were reality tv-channels. I found her on one of those sites where brand new albums were displayed and you could listen to snippets of the songs. What got me to listen to it was the ugly cover. The purple and yellow were hurting my eyes and the title Music Of The Sun made me believe it to be this nice and summery album. Depending on your taste, obviously, but summer for me wasn’t this dancehall-thing I was listening to and I soon left the album for what it was. Little did I know that in no sooner than about a month Pon De Replay was replayed till infinity. And it drove me crazy! If It’s Lovin’ … that followed it up was no better.
The thing that i disliked the most was her grating and nasal voice that rubbed me the wrong way. Things got a little better when SOS was played to death everywhere. The Soft Cell-sample didn’t hurt but I actually prefered this upbeat style over the dancehall stuff. Unfortunately, Unfaithful got quite some airplay over here and once again I started turning off the radio cause I just could not listen to it. The rest of that era didn’t do her any good either. It wasn’t until Umbrella that she really made a name for herself and while I still wasn’t convinced, my aversion started to crack under all those catchy ella ella e e e‘s. The repetitiveness in the song really did it for me, much like SOS. The Good Girl Gone Bad era was the era I fell in love with Rihanna. Reluctantly with Umbrella, but more and more so with each single and I was sold on the rockin’ Shut Up And Drive and the beats of Don’t Stop The Music.
Knowing which songs got me to actually like the girl, it will come as no surprise that I went a little overboard with my love for Rated R. I had already listened to the previous album so much that the Good Girl Gone Dead, but Rated R really was my jam. From slow burning anger of Russian Roulette to more agressive Hard and epic songs like Cold Case Love. I liked Rihanna for the pop princess she was before, but I loved how she reinvented herself and became this tough chick. She could go on rocking for the rest of her career and I would be loving it. Rihanna wouldn’t be Rihanna if she didn’t change it up every time she came with a new album and I was still rockin’ to Rated R when I felt the need to dance to the pulsing beats from Loud.
It’s quite obvious I did a complete turnaround on Rihanna and up till today, I still really like the music she puts out. Granted, I do miss the consistency in her later albums that Rated R and Loud had. She has some amazing singles and a handful of awesome album tracks, but there are songs on there of which I seriously doubt if they should have ever seen the light of day. Her most recent ANTI once again has that consistency and sound that I like so much, but here I’m kind of missing the Big Song. Those are the songs that made me love Rihanna, the big club stompers or the epic earblasts, like SOS, Umbrella, Only Girl, We Found Love and Diamonds.
There was a time when I frowned upon her songs when they came along, and now I get frowned upon when I dance and sing along to RiRi. But I couldn’t be bothered. If people do, I prentend I’m the only boy in the world.
Favourite song: Hands down, Only Girl (In The World)