The wait is ovah.
798 days after her last album was released, Rihanna decided to finally end the cruel and torturous two-year drought and put a song out on iTunes earlier today. By “earlier” I mean she caused rather inconvenient heart palpitations at 1AM this morning, and by “a song” I mean the first single from R8.
FourFiveSeconds rih-introduces the self-professed bad gal as the new Queen of Country, as her unaltered vocals take centre stage against an acoustic guitar (courtesy of Paul McCartney) and church organs on the campfire sing-a-long anthem. Oh, and Kanye West tries his hand at singing once again.
Opinions of the sonic direction aside, Rihanna’s voice is the focal point of the song and for good reason, too. The growth in her vocal range, tone and delivery since Unapologetic is incredible and this is undoubtedly her most confident vocal performance on record thus far. It’s so refreshing to hear vocals presented like this, and extremely difficult to think of other mainstream artists of today that would release a song of this style.
Now for those crying because it’s not a Birthday Cake sequel, a) did you listen to Unapologetic? and, b) Rihanna is arguably the most in-demand singer for all writers and producers in the industry so if she wanted to chuck out another Calvin Harris song for an easy #1 then she could have, but it’s clearly not what she’s aiming for.
Did I think I would ever write “campfire sing-a-long anthem” about a Rihanna song? No. But this isn’t the first time she’s thrown a curveball with a lead single – did you jump up and down with joy the first time you heard Diamonds or Russian Roulette? – and it’s most likely not any indication of what the rest of the album is going to sound like.
Whilst FourFiveSeconds may be her biggest risk thus far, I do not doubt that she will be pussy-patting half-naked to your fave new urban jam about her phucking your man in two singles time. Relax and enjoy the music.
Buy FourFiveSeconds on iTunes now (out in the UK tomorrow.)