Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

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Pierre
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Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by Pierre » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:44 pm

Just a random topic I thought of recently, when I saw Rihanna's last vid on TV (actually, it's that Calvin Harris song she's singing in, but still).

I'm somewhat puzzled by the fact that Rihanna hasn't managed to land at least a bubbler album on AM.net. I agree like everyone else that she's probably more a singles artist than an album one, but given the traction that modern pop & r'n'b have experienced recently with critics (I mean, a few years ago Beyoncé didn't have a single album listed on the website, and it looks like in the near future her entire discography will be in), I thought Rihanna would be next in line: she's perceived as one of the most influential pop star on the planet at the moment and the current generation of rising pop stars are generally holding her in high regard and perceive her as an important influence. And yet, still nada on the albums front. I believe that for instance Good Girl Gone Bad's bubbling status (or even top 3000 inductee) is long overdue, given its generally stated impact (whether it does actually deserve it is another story, but I'm giving it a shot right now and it's much more listenable than I initially feared). Perhaps Anti will finally fix Mrs. Fenty's acclaimed album drought, but with Beyoncé's and Solange's releases overshadowing her to critics, it might not even be the case this time around.

Any thought about it?

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PlasticRam
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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by PlasticRam » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:46 pm

Anti might very well make it to bubbling under.

I think if Good Girl Gone Bad had dropped a couple of years later, then it would've done better in EOY lists cos of the trend.

Edit: So what I'm saying is GGGB would prolly be included on the site had it been released a couple of years later, so it's a bit unlucky timing.
Last edited by PlasticRam on Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I feel like that

mat.bez.lima
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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by mat.bez.lima » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:35 pm

I would like much more Adele here.
User of RYM #507651

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Pierre
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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by Pierre » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:16 pm

mat.bez.lima wrote:I would like much more Adele here.
That's not exactly the point of my topic, but since nobody else except PlasticRam (thanks for your opinion too, man) is contributing, thanks anyway.

However, I don't think the comparison is relevant because:

a. Rihanna is a modern r'n'b singer, while Adele is a much more classicist soul singer in her approach, and

b. Although Rihanna and Adele's debuts were not very far apart, she's been a pop scene staple for a longer time and, as I said, she's already considered an influence for the emerging generation of pop and r'n'b singers, which is not yet the case for Adele.

All in all, I tend to like the best artists in modern r'n'b more than the best artists in what I call "the classicist soul revival" which includes artists like Amy Winehouse, Duffy or Adele. I like them too, simply less because they're generally less groundbreaking and more conservative and safe in their work.

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Rob
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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by Rob » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:20 pm

Pierre wrote:I agree like everyone else that she's probably more a singles artist than an album one,
I think that's simply the whole story. I'm not an expert of Rihanna albums by any means. I only heard Good Girl Gone Bad once, around the time it was released. But if my memory of Rihanna album reviews serves me right they usually give me the impression that Rihanna makes the type of album that is the singles along with filler. Beyoncé has slowly turned more towards more coherent albums, but I'm not sure if Rihanna has shown any interest in going that route. Also, between 2005 and 2012 she released an album every year, except in 2008. That was not uncommon up until the nineties, but with the more heavy touring schedules these days it gives the impression that Rihanna records a lot at ones and sees what sticks single-wise. I could be wrong though.

It is somewhat interesting that Anti was the first time we had to wait for a longer period for it to arrive. From yearly albums to one in four years is quite a leap.

Whatever the case may be, I don't think critics should just add Rihanna albums to their list because Rihanna has now become a major influence. They should add them if they are good. Half-good albums don't really fit in a list like this. Rihanna's influence lies in her singles and that's what you see here.

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Pierre
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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by Pierre » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:38 pm

Rob wrote:
Pierre wrote:I agree like everyone else that she's probably more a singles artist than an album one,
I think that's simply the whole story. I'm not an expert of Rihanna albums by any means. I only heard Good Girl Gone Bad once, around the time it was released. But if my memory of Rihanna album reviews serves me right they usually give me the impression that Rihanna makes the type of album that is the singles along with filler. Beyoncé has slowly turned more towards more coherent albums, but I'm not sure if Rihanna has shown any interest in going that route. Also, between 2005 and 2012 she released an album every year, except in 2008. That was not uncommon up until the nineties, but with the more heavy touring schedules these days it gives the impression that Rihanna records a lot at ones and sees what sticks single-wise. I could be wrong though.

It is somewhat interesting that Anti was the first time we had to wait for a longer period for it to arrive. From yearly albums to one in four years is quite a leap.
Actually, the explanation seems simple enough but that's assuming her albums really aren't that great, and reality is actually more contrasted. Music of the Sun and A Girl Like Me are dancehall-infused juvenilia from an islander girl trying to dig her hole in America, while Loud, Talk That Talk and Unapologetic do fit your perception more, the latter being the nadir in Robyn Fenty's career with nearly one hour of boredom. Good Girl Gone Bad, however, even if it was conceived as merely a collection of songs, was a collection of great songs, with very little filler and intended to be her breakthrough as a pop scene staple, which indeed happened. Rated R is a more complicated matter: it was conceived as the "Chris Brown assault" answer album, dark and assertive, but as it stood it did constitute a proper attempt as an unified album, albeit a flawed one, because of Rihanna's detached singing on some songs and some moments where the album tended to showcase excessive theatrics in the arrangements; furthermore, the duet she sang with Brown later on Unapologetic, "Nobody's Business", kind of annihilated the whole point of the album, which is pretty shameful. And now, Anti is her best album for sure, with a cohesive production, good songwriting and stellar vocals from Rihanna, who has apparently made huge progress with conveying emotions through her singing. It deserved more than the tepid critical reaction it got, the most visible symptom being that it's not even featured in the MegaCritic Chart here!
Rob wrote: Whatever the case may be, I don't think critics should just add Rihanna albums to their list because Rihanna has now become a major influence. They should add them if they are good. Half-good albums don't really fit in a list like this. Rihanna's influence lies in her singles and that's what you see here.
Indeed, however I've listened to enough albums from the AM.net list to know that perfect albums are rare. A lot of albums featured here are at least about 75% great to my perception. And at least Good Girl Gone Bad and Anti fit this criterion to me, and are on par with (or superior to) Beyoncé's Dangerously in Love and B'Day which do bubble under on the website; while the case of Rated R is debatable.

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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by bonnielaurel » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:24 pm

Personally I think "Good Girl Gone Bad" and "Rated R" are her two best albums. Many good pop and R&B albums aren't acclaimed. I agree that she's more a song artist than an album artist.

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Rob
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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by Rob » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:40 pm

Thanks for your great reply, Pierre. You obviously are more familiar with the complete discography of Rihanna than me (and perhaps most people here on AM, as she isn't talked much about on this website in terms of albums).
Pierre wrote: Indeed, however I've listened to enough albums from the AM.net list to know that perfect albums are rare. A lot of albums featured here are at least about 75% great to my perception. And at least Good Girl Gone Bad and Anti fit this criterion to me, and are on par with (or superior to) Beyoncé's Dangerously in Love and B'Day which do bubble under on the website; while the case of Rated R is debatable.
Of course there are few 100% great albums, but an album can also be great if it is uneven, but something of a great statement or a great piece if taken as a whole. Then there are the albums that just don't feel like a whole and many of them are from popular singers who have a lot of filler between the singles. And yes, some of these albums make the top 3000, frequently as a token for an important artist without a great album. I'm not fond of these albums and wish them to be as rare as possible on AM. I feel Beyoncé as an album artist only started with her self-titled album for example and don't really want them to be included just because them contained some hits.

But as of Rihanna, I don't know. I just went with what I remember the critics saying. And I do remember liking Good Girl Gone Bad rather well, even if I haven't returned to it since.

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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by Harold » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:45 pm

It's certainly starting to look like Rihanna's album drought on AM is about to end. Anti is showing up on a significant number of EOY lists, and it's climbing up the spreadsheet.

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Re: Lack of Rihanna albums on AM.net

Post by Pierre » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:09 am

Harold wrote:It's certainly starting to look like Rihanna's album drought on AM is about to end. Anti is showing up on a significant number of EOY lists, and it's climbing up the spreadsheet.
Yup, didn't expect that, and it's good news to me. I still chose it as the most underrated album of the year for Pitchfork's readers poll (well, I did a double-entry with a foreign album, but still), but that was before it started showing up on a lot of lists.

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