Rhianna’s “Unapologetic” Debuts

rihanna3Fans of R&B siren Rihanna have all the more reason to be thankful this November, as the month also marks the release of her newest album Unapologetic,  which received widespread distribution on Monday, November 19.  In the months prior to the album’s release, fans carried out their very own kind of “scavenger hunt”, attempting to decipher the nature of the both the album’s title and cover, neither of which had been formally advertised, by means of analyzing the titles and lyrics of her recent singles. Many fans had speculated that the album would be titled “Diamonds” to coincide with the singer’s most recent world tour, predictions that have since been proven incorrect following the album’s public debut.

In an interview with MTV conducted earlier this year, Rhianna spoke out regarding her desire to defy fan expectations with her latest work, stating “I’m excited to surprise them sonically.” Given these intentions, it should come as no surprise that the first single of the album, “Diamonds” strays from some of the Rhianna’s usual stylistic motifs, achieving one of the most uplifting tones of any piece in the singer’s career. As a whole, Unapologetic represents a milestone in the artistic development of the singer, who seems to have achieved the ideal balance between intimate displays of poignancy and the more commercialized, dance-ready works that characterized her early career.

Unapologetic is not without its detractors, however, as the release of the album has subsequently resulted in criticism, directed primarily at the explicit nature of the lyrics of many of the songs featured on the album. Still more criticism can be traced to a number of women’s rights groups, whose objection to the album can be attributed primarily to the inclusion of the single, “Nobody’s Business”, a track developed by Rhianna in collaboration with her former boyfriend Chris Brown, who less than three years ago was convicted of her assault.

The effect of these criticisms on sales of the album appears to be negligible, as Unapologetic debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 198,000 copies during its debut alone. Prior to the release of her latest work, Rihanna promised to reveal a different side of herself to her fans, while continuing to provide the listening public with the chart-topping singles that have helped her to achieve prominence within the music industry, a boast which the artist has served to fulfill in its entirety.