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Rihanna - 'Take A Bow'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:46 UK time, Thursday, 15 May 2008

RihannaBlimey. So much for all that stuff about being protected by Rihanna's compassionate weatherproofing. She's gone EVIL on us! "You're so ugly when you cry", she cackles, standing over her defeated ex as he tries to make amends for doing the nasty behind her back, "Grab your clothes and get gone. You better hurry up before the sprinklers come on". And these won't be ordinary lawn sprinklers either, nu-uh. They'll be special acid sprinklers which contain a chemical compound designed to destroy the job prospects, attractiveness AND wither the groin of anyone it comes into contact with. You cross Rihanna at your PERIL, PEOPLE...

The brilliant thing about this song is that it uses as a trump card the one thing people tend to hold against Rihanna, which is her thin, reedy voice. Those nasty lyrics sound even more spiteful and harsh coming from a flinty throat like hers than they would from another singer - especially as this is clearly a retread of the much warmer-sounding 'Irreplaceable' by Beyonce - which is entirely appropriate given that the lyrics demand that she sound like she's very very angry indeed.

In fact, I would want to put forward a case that Rihanna has the ability to inhabit a bleak song better than almost anyone. It's a bit like with actors. It's not as if she displays a great range, so you could put her in almost any role, but when you want someone to play a really nasty piece of work, who audiences can spot as being cold and tough from the moment they appear on screen, you know who to call.

If you think back over her other great dark relationship song 'Unfaithful', it was the fact that she sang as if chilled to the bone and shaking which made the song work like it came out of those moments when you wake up at 3am and take stock of your entire life, only to realise it's all worthless and hopeless and you're a bad, bad person who deserves everything awful which is coming your way.

So, while it's entirely right to pity the poor fool who spends this song cowering on Rihanna's lawn while she lashes him with her leathery words, you can't help but conclude that he is also better off out of it. It's always raining in Rihannaworld, and even if she has got an umbrella, and you're allowed to use it, sometimes it's nicer to head for the sun.

Seriously, fella, RUN AWAY!

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released:
May 19th

(Fraser McAlpine)

PS: Having had a quick look round on the web, it seems I'm on my own in thinking this is any good. Look at the Chris Picks blog, for example. Oh well.



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