Album: Rihanna, Unapologetic (Mercury/Def Jam)


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The Independent Culture

The fact that Rihanna has released seven studio albums in seven years does little to diminish the impression that if you flipped up her impassive panel of a face, you'd find circuit boards and wires.

The big story in the lead-up to the pointedly-titled Unapologetic is that she's not only forgiven her abusive ex, Chris Brown (who has had Rihanna's battered and bruised face tattooed on his neck), but she's back with him, and he guests on the equally defiantly-named "Nobody's Business". An Auto-Tuned, Jacko-sampling piece of piano-house, it would be inoffensive and sweet enough, were it not for the Punch & Judy saga behind it.

Like most of Unapologetic, it's instantly forgettable. Created with the usual international team of collaborators (from Sia to Labrinth), packed with the usual half-hearted, sexual single-entendres ("ride my pony, my saddle is waiting ...") and sung in a voice that's flatter than Norfolk, it's a true representation of Rihanna's personality. That is to say, it's dull as dishwater.

By the time you reach the track called "Get it Over With", you're begging the album to comply.