Listen here. Written by Ne-Yo, first single off Rated R, out November 23, and not, alas, a track-by-track cover of the Queens of the Stone Age album. Don’t tell me that wouldn’t be awesome. But we digress, if only because this is very lovely, and very boring. The problem here is Rihanna is way preferable as a frivolous, carefree, borderline nonsensical Pop Tart (ella, ella, ella, etc.) but everyone expects her to be in Gravitas Mode now, which possibly means lots of grim and quasi-gothic ballads with unpleasant lyrics (“It’s too late to think of the value of my life”) we’d rather not hear out of Rihanna’s mouth for a while/ever again. The Saw VI visual vibe we’re getting early on doesn’t help. We need The-Dream, and we need him now.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 20, 2009