Rihanna tweets about new album, promises fall release, closes up shop on 'Loud'


Image Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Do you realize that Rihanna is only 23 years old, and has been teasing that her sixth album is going to hit store shelves before the calendar flips to 2012?

To bring up a totally reasonable analogue, John Lennon had only released his first album at 23. At this rate, she’s just about due for a Britney Spears-esque career retrospective at next year’s VMAs and will be passing Neil Young’s album output before a reasonable mid-life crisis can even set in.

In any event, RiRi has been letting her over seven million followers on Twitter that she has been in the studio working on the follow-up to 2010’s Loud, a fact originally reported on in Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Music Preview.

She promises that the new tracks, which fill her with excitement, will be out this fall, which essentially puts Loud to bed and will create a seamless transition from that album’s most recent single (the just-released “Cheers (Drink to That)”) and whatever new jam she’ll be dropping from the new one.

With that in mind, let’s unpack Loud, an album that left the post-Chris Brown survivalist instincts of Rated R in the dust in favor of a more traditional pop collection. There were seven official singles from Loud, which is pretty jaw-dropping considering there are only 11 total tracks on the whole thing.

Of those singles, four of them (“Only Girl (In the World),” “What’s My Name?,” “S&M” and “Cheers (Drink to That)”) were big successes (the first three topped the Billboard Hot 100, while the latter currently sits at number 10). The other three (“Man Down,” “California King Bed” and the Nicki Minaj collaboration “Raining Men”) were pretty much DOA (despite the chart dominance of both of the women involved, “Raining Men” didn’t even chart on the Hot 100, which is a remarkable considering that even the minor songs from any random episode of Glee end up charting somewhere).

But on the whole, Loud should be considered a commercial success, especially considering the album as a whole moved a million and a half copies over the course of a year.

Aesthetically, Loud felt like a step back from the darkness of Rated R, but found Rihanna exploring more of the outer limits of her pop personality. Some of those experiments didn’t quite work (she doesn’t have the chops to be a balladeer, which made the torch-song quality of “California King Bed” land with a thud), but most of the grooves really work.

She was able to integrate more of her island upbringing into “Man Down” (a criminally underrated track with a pretty mind-blowing video), and the breezy groove on “What’s My Name?” made her a perfect tag-team partner for lounge-hopper Drake. And even though it’s sort of ridiculous, there’s something undeniably infectious about “S&M.”

So where does Rihanna go from here? Will her forthcoming album pick an avenue of concentration, or will it be another a-little-of-everything affair? (The latter seems more likely, doesn’t it?)

Leave your predictions in the comments below, and also let us know what you thought of Loud.

Read more on EW.com:
What’s your song of summer 2011? Tell us here
Nicki Minaj and Rihanna are the last queens standing in ‘Fly’ video: Watch it here
Rihanna drinks to the freakin’ weekend in ‘Cheers’ video: Watch it here

Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • Jermain Dupri

    Rihanna may not put up gigantic numbers in album sales, but consider this; each one of the aforementioned singles sold in the millions. Total album sales, plus the sales from each single equals barrels of cash.

    • LG

      I wouldn’t say barrels of cash. Apple take most of the sales made through iTunes. Rihanna gets a bit of a cut, but remember she has to pay her peeps. I don’t believe she writes any of her material, so she is missing out on that income stream too.

      • Tony

        I think she’s doing fine money-wise, none the less

      • riri love

        She makes most of her money form the concerts and endorsements, like all singers.

  • S

    I loved Loud, it’s my second fave album of hers following Good Girl Gone Bad. Excited for the new one!

    • PN

      It’s like a tie to me with those two albums as my favorites becuase they are so catchy and addictive! It changes every day for me with those two Rihanna albums. I can listen to those albums nonstop without skipping a track.

  • Aimee

    I mean, not to knock the hard work Rihanna’s put in over the years, but it’s a lot easier to release albums when you’re not the one who is writing the music.

    • PN

      I agree too, when you let an army of A-list producers and writers handle the album, the artist doesn’t write any of the songs and release out to the public, it will most likely perform well. Maybe Rihanna didn’t have time to write any songs for the Loud album, but the 11 songs were definitely tailor made for her and her personality.

  • Madox

    I don’t get why people have such an aversion to fun music. Sometimes you just want to lighten up a bit. Come on, it’s “Friiiday, Friiiday, blah blah blah it’s Friiiday”

    • NonEntity

      Fun music like TV, kicks your brain down more than a couple notches. Fans of this music also are fans of useless plastic items and are so unsatisfied with appearances, they keep the useless vanity industry going. Intelligent people don’t enjoy stupidity. Stupid people destroy the world.

  • nodnarb

    She’s also doing a duet with Chris Martin on the new Coldplay album.

    • Phil

      “Princess of China”

  • You

    Loud has actually sold over 5 million worldwide, which is multiple times over other pop stars like Beyonce or Britney’s latest. It also has sold a good chunk over Katy’s Teenage Dream album, and the “album of the decade”-hyped Born This Way will finish out in the same tier.

  • Phil

    “Raining Men” was never worked at mainstream radio, only Urban radio. It just became so traditional that many hip-hop songs now cross over to the pop charts, but “Raining Men” was actually an Urban radio hit to not only capitalize on Rihanna’s success with “What’s My Name” with Drake, but rising newcomer Nicki Minaj too (Rhianna’s “Loud” dropped a full week prior to Nicki’s “Pink Friday”). Most people who are fans of Rhi Rhi’s don’t realize she is NOT a hit Urban/hip-hop artist. Part of the reason why “Man Down” which I thought woulda been a bigger summer hit, never happened…besides being worked at the same time as that awful “California King Bed”.
    I fully expect a dance-y pop first single, with a credible sample…and still waiting to see if that duet with her BFF Katy Perry happens….but not sure bout that right now, since I don’t see Capitol allowing Def Jam to get all the credit and profits from the duet!

    • PN

      There’s an R&B station in my area that played Man Down heavily in July! It was one of their most requested songs. People didn’t even think about that controversial video–they loved the song instead. I think that Raining Men and Man Down were the more urban songs versus the dance pop driven songs of the other hits.

      • Phil

        Preston, there is no such thing as most requested songs. Its all a lie. Very few requests are even tabulated any longer. All the music on every station’s playlist is created daily by a Program Director and/or Music Director, sorry to ruin that for you if you didn’t know. “Man Down” was played heavily cause “S&M” wasn’t a song that could be played on Urban Radio, and niether was “California King Bed”.

  • AK

    I love “California King Bed” and I think her “American Idol” performance proved she could handle those vocals just fine. It seems that her voice is still growing and maturing, and I hope to see her continue to tackle material like that going forward.

  • PN

    … But I was disappointed when California King Bed peaked at No. 37 on the Hot 100. I wanted that to go No. 1 the same way that Adele’s Someone Like You did recently. Fortunately, Cheers outpaced it and is now top 10. I thought that the Loud album had a superb run with its hits.

  • PN

    I think that Rihanna just has those creative juices flowing and just decides to put an album 12 months after the other one. I think that she did not want to do that long 2 year stretch of milking an album’s singles like she did with Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007 and making remix albums and deluxe editions. So this 12 months between albums format has worked for her and she’s gotten many hits out of it.

    • 2lc

      Rihanna has no “creative juices”. All her songs are written and produced by a team of other people.

    • Jen

      It doesn’t take that long to create crappy music, so six albums isn’t surprising…how deep did someone have to dig to get the gems that she puts out? I’m not saying it’s not catchy pop music, but it seems like a case of quantity over quality.

  • B

    This is no suprise. Rihanna epitomizes the fast-food nature of the music industry today. There is no depth in pop music nowadays anymore. Every album and single released is a cheap publicity stunt to garner quick sales.

  • PN

    I loved S&M from the first time that I heard Rihanna’s Loud album on November 16th of last year! Undeniably catchy and infectious despite the naughtiness of the lyrics. It was one of the later singles and it still hit No. 1!

    • mikieeboi

      Britney and Riri to die for!

  • Kate

    Is PN employed by Rihanna’s management team?

  • Phil

    You go girl !!! I’ve corrected the fool plenty of times this week, glad someone else has corrected him too. *high fives Dana*

  • Dana

    Thank you, Phil. And I don’t retract my comment about Rihanna’s music. All of is disposable. Sure it’s fun. It’s like a candybar you enjoy in the moment and then immediately forget about. Her only meaningful song was Love the Way You Lie but that was mostly thanks to Eminem.

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