While we await yet another dry spell for one of modern pops most surprisingly durable careers, we took a look at Rihannas catalog of hits to select the top 20 singles she has released so far. Fans of Rihannas music have been waiting patiently for her to drop her ninth album, dubbed R9.
After earning fame by cranking out new albums quicker than any of the singers competition, Rihanna took a little time off of the music front before releasing her eighth studio album Anti, and the wait paid off in spades. Anti pushes boundaries on what an R&B album can be, as well as what a singers records should sound like. His eighth album, Anti (2016), showed a new level of creative control after his split with Def Jam.
She continued to blend the genres of pop, dance, and R&B in her subsequent studio albums, Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011), and Unapologetic (2012), which became her first number-one on the Billboard 200. After signing to Def Jam in 2005, she quickly gained mainstream exposure with her first two studio albums, Music Of The Sun (2005) and A Girl Like Me (2006), both influenced by Caribbean music, and peaked in the Top 10 of the U.S. Billboard 200 charts.
After signing with Def Jam in 2005, she soon gained recognition with the release of her first two studio albums, Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl like Me (2006 ), both of which were influenced by Caribbean music and peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard 200 chart. The albums were released on vinyl, CD, vinyl, compact disc, and vinyl box sets, with tracks rated R, Loud, Talk That Talk, Unapologetic, and ANTI, uncredited tracks, Soundtrack cuts, and additional tracks drawn from rare sources, and features; the only track that was unrated was a remix by Britney S&M, rated the previous charts. It is rare to find a girl-pop album in which each track is the highlight, but the singer achieved this on Talk That Talk. After listening to the first two Rihanna albums back-to-back for years, I cannot help but think Good Girl Goes Bad is the album that made Rihanna a superstar.
Coming just eight months after Music Of The Sun, this is more of the same, but with some balladry added in for good measure. Sonically, Talk That Talk feels like a blend of Rated Rs darkness with the hard-hitting, single-track-heavy feel of Rihannas first album.
It is pretty tough to choose which is better between Rihannas first album and A Girl Like Me when ranking Rihannas albums, as her first two albums are two sides of the same coin. Rihannas first two albums had really strong first singles that were also first songs on the tracklists (Pon De Replay and SOS). Seven out of 11 tracks on Rihannas first album are singles, and even the non-singles, such as Fading, are absolutely outstanding.
The album itself represents Rihannas best attributes (creativity, energy, and attitude) while pruning away at Rihannas worst habits (paint-by-numbers pop tracks and a lackluster delivery). Rihannas 2012 album Unapologetic is by far her least focused album, an awkwardly produced record lacking in cohesion and polish. Rihannas 2012 album Unapologetic came in at the peak of the “Topman T-shirt” era, and was an album very much a reflection of the Guetta-esque EDM pounding our charts at the time.
Rihannas seventh studio album is Unapologetic, and though it could have done with some tracks being cut (notably Chris Brown-assisted Nobodys Business–ouch), the album is a great one, chaotically. The album itself is far from perfect — it is creaky at points, and the production of is so humdrum that it is like waterboarding your eardrums — but this is easily Rihannas best work, and one that Eddy wishes I had been brought aboard earlier.
Rihanna began capturing global attention with her debut US chart-topper, SOS, while heartbreaking ballad Unfaithful offered a glimpse at a more mature sound, a sound she would explore on subsequent records Good Girls Go Bad.
Rihannas third album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), integrated elements of dance-pop and established her as a sex symbol within the music industry. Rihannas chart-topping single from her third album, Umbrella, earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award and catapulted her to worldwide stardom. Her eighth album became her second US number-one album, featuring chart-topping single. Working, Rihanna released collaborative hit singles with artists including Drake, Eminem, and Calvin Harris.