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Review: Rihanna's 'Unapologetic'
By Kurt. B. Reighley
Special to MSN Music
 
Rihanna
"Unapologetic"
Our rating: 3.5 stars
 
Is she a puppet or a real girl? The answer might surprise you. On the surface, Rihanna's latest plays to the most cliched aspects of her bad girl image: risque cover art, confrontational title, an opening outburst of Tourette's syndrome ("Fresh Off the Runway"). Yet time and again the singer shows her strength by displaying vulnerability, emphasizing themes of hurt and heartbreak on tracks ranging from stripped-down R&B ("Numb") to piano ballads ("What Now") and midtempo reggae ("No Love Allowed"). Contrasted with these emotional outpourings, it's the boisterous, pop-oriented cuts like club stomper "Right Now" that ring hollow.
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