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Rihanna - 'Disturbia'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:02 UK time, Friday, 15 August 2008

RihannaMuch as I like Rihanna, I can't help but feel that she's missed an opportunity by not using the spooky, gothy sounds in the first 30 seconds of the video to this song as a basis for the song itself. It's not that there is anything particularly wrong with 'Distubia' itself...apart from the title, which isn't really her fault seeing as Peter Andre is not someone the American public are massively famililar with. Or at least I hope not, we don't want a major diplomatic incident on our hands, especially not one which is spread across the US, the UK, Greece and Australia, now do we?

Anyway, as a song, this is fine. It's closer to 'Don't Stop The Music' than 'Umbrella', but actually comes closest to 'Blue (Da Ba Dee)' by Eiffel 65 than anything else. I personally could live without ever hearing that auto-tune vocoder effect on anyone's voice ever again, but I'm guessing I might be in the minority about that one, cos Lord knows it gets dragged out a lot at the moment. It's like the new reverb, or something.

Other than that, the plus points are Rihanna's icy whine, the frosty-rave chorus (bleak house, anyone?) and that Eiffely refrain. On the minus side, it's a bit nothingy, and the title is really really bad.

And worst of all, it's not the gothic, booming, soul-scorched theatrical extravaganza which the beginning of the video has led us to believe it could be. 'Disturbia' is FAR too chirpy a tune to suit the parade of Marilyn Manson fetish-wear and leathery bedlam which accompanies it.

Ideally, you'd want a song which is pitched somewhere between 'The Beautiful People', 'Bat Out Of Hell' and any of those Tom Waits songs where it sounds like his drummer is using actual human skulls. I can see that this might not be a clever commercial direction for Rihanna's music to take, but at least the song would match the video.

Plus it would definitely be AMAZING. Whereas this, for all that it is a decent Rihanna song, is not.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: August 18th

(Fraser McAlpine)

PS: About.Com are running a review of this which lists the pros and cons of the song as follows:

Instant dancefloor smash
Exciting, mildly creepy lyrics
Sound of an immediate hit

Throwaway fluff



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