Good Girl Gone Bad: Umbrella ft. Jay-Z, Shut Up and Drive, Don’t Stop the Music, Hate That I Love You ft. Ne-yo, Breakin’ Dishes

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Rihanna
Good Girl Gone Bad
Total Tracks: 12
Length: 44:02
U.S. Billboard 200: #2
RIAA Certification: Platinum (1,000,000+)
U.K. Albums Chart: #1
U.K. Certification: Platinum (557,000+)
Oricon (Japan): #7
RIAJ Certification: Gold (100,000+)
United World Chart: #1
Worldwide Sales Total: 3,596,950
Label: DefJam
Producers: Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, Stargate, Timbaland, J.R. Rotem, Neo Da Matrix, Shea Taylor, Producing Prodigy, Ne-Yo, Hannon Lane

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Umbrella ft. Jay-Z
March 29, 2007
Length: 4:35
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: #1 (7 consecutive weeks)
     Year-End: #2
U.K.  Singles Chart: #1 (10 consecutive weeks)
United World Chart: #1 (10 consecutive weeks)
     Year-End: #1
Written by: Shawn Carter, Terius Nash, Christopher Stewart

So, I heard that the beat of this song is actually a set sample on Apple’s GarageBand? I found that so hard to believe, because I loved this song and thought it was so unique, kind of sad to find that out. Jay-Z starts the song of right with a quick rap, introducing Rihanna and the rain. Her signature vocal style is very well showcased in this song: a bit nasal, but with unique timbre that resonantes well with the world, apparently. Her voice is flawless, thanks in no small part to digital enhancement, but it just sound so cool here. I can only suppose that the synth-laden, high-pitched background isn’t from GarageBand, but I know not. At the bridge, a few distorted violins enter and then we get back to Vintage Funk Kit 03. The acutally melody line is simple enough, nothing crazy. The chorus is the most interesting part by far. That ‘Umbrella-ella-ey-ey-ey’ is one of the most recognizable hooks of modern music at this point. And I won’t lie, when I first heard this song I abhored it. It was so annoying. But it grew on me slowly and now I really love it. On the lyrics, I find them to be good. The term aiaigasa came to mind, which in Japanese means ‘two lovers sharing an umbrella’. The all rhyme for the most part. Took an oath, I’mma stick it out to the end, I had no idea what she was saying there until I started researching this album, lol… On the whole, this single and this song is the most popular song of the year in many parts of the world and was Rihanna’s breakout song for the world.

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Push Up On Me
3:15

A fast fwipping beat (yes, I just made up that word) gives a short intro until Rihanna chimes in with a small hook of “Break it down…“. This song samples from the Lionel Richie song, “Running With The Night”. A fast paced beat using deep bass and then we head on into a great chorus. “I wish you would push up on it…” gives us a good idea of what this song’s about. No ambiguity here, folks. Rihanna’s just horny. Some tight harmonies pull the vocal score up a bit, but the song is great dance/R&B/pop (which is basically a good description of the first half of this album). This song sounds, if not channels, Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater.” And we transition immediatly into…

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Don’t Stop the Music
Length: 4:27
January 15, 2008
Billboard Hot 100: #26
U.K. Singles Chart: #12
United World Chart: #3
Written by: M. S. Eriksen, M. Jackson, T. Dabney, T. E. Hermansen

Interestingly enough, “Don’t Stop the Music” has began topping European charts and charting in the Top 20 on many charts before its release! That’s really exciting! This song, a Britney-inspired electronica number with heavy, heavy synth arrangement and penetrating basslines, has been on my radar for sometime, but not until I bought this album did I really begin to become rather obsessed with it. The stampede-like moves the song at a dizzying pace and as the song swells into the chorus, you really feel the beat begin to carry you up. A quiet mamasay-mamasaa-mamakossa… (???)… it’s actually a line from a popular Michael Jackson song called “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” released in 1983, begins in the background of the chorus and you hear it sampled throughout the song, most notably toward the end. And I will echo Rihanna here with a heartfelt, “Please don’t stop the music!”… and we don’t straight into…

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Breakin’ Dishes
Length: 3:20
March 18, 2008
Key: B Minor
Written by: Terius Nash, Christopher Stewart

This single, which I am really exited about, is due out in February for airplay. It’s a techno-rock song with some cleverly disguised (at least in the melody) minor leanings, until the bridge where it comes out in full force. The synth gives us a minor melody at once. Another heavy beat, in same vein as Don’t Stop the Music, rushes this song off. It’s a rather short song for this album. The words rock! Rihanna screams about her man being off and not telling her where he’s been. She goes about wrecking havoc around their house, breaking you-know-what, and getting ready to kick that guy’s ass ;)!

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Shut Up and Drive
June 12, 2007
Length: 3:33
Key: D Major
Billboard Hot 100: #15
U.K. Singles Chart: #5
United World Chart: #11
Written by: Carl Struken, Evan Rogers

I love this song. I wished it had received more airplay here in the U.S. but at least I didn’t become tired of it like it did with “Umbrella”. Heavily distorted guitar pull us into a sample of New Order’s “Blue Monday”. A very veiled sexual ennuendo contains the entirety of the lyrical proportions of this track. Another “Rihanna’s horny” track, Shut Up and Drive really delivers as a more-rock-than-pop tune. The Bridge carries some cool distorted harmonies and the hook is undeniably great.

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Hate That I Love You ft. Ne-Yo
August 21, 2007
Length: 3:39
Key: A flat Major
Billboard Hot 100: #7
U.K. Singles Chart: #15
United World Chart: #6
Written by: S. Shaffer, M. S. Eriksen, T. E. Hermansen

Okay, as much as this song sounds like so many other releases from Ne-Yo, I love it. A strumming guitar quietly leads us into a loud beat and some beautiful, if nasal runs from Ne-Yo and Rihanna. The lyrics are amazing. It tells the story of two lovers who want to end their relationship but are still so in love with each other. A beautiful backup, understated harmony carries the very sing-friendly chorus. There’s a lot of emotion and beauty in this song. It is one of the strongest tracks on the album.

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Say It
4:10

A synth flash ‘n fade opens into a very dissenent, tight harmony-ed, hook. This is a slower, funkier version of ‘Don’t Stop the Music’. It’s a good track at best. It sounds like filler. I don’t like how out of key the melody sounds. About the best part of this song is Rihanna ad. lib.-ing towards the end of the song. This song, surprisingly, does not contain a bridge.

Sell Me Candy
2:46

This is the shortest track on the album. It’s another sex-driven number, reminiscent of 50 cent’s “Candy Shop”. Click, click, click and we’re into a quick hook and then directly into a verse. The song’s lyrics are spewed out so fast, it seems to run altogether. The chorus is a minor progression which is mirrored in double time in the melody line. This song isn’t that hot. The album’s beginning to loose momentum at this point.

Lemme Get That
3:41

Just when you think Good Girl Gone Bad might end on a bad note, they throw you this song. A Caribbean-, Arabian-flavored tracks with an awesome minor hook. Some spare, deep horns (I think they’re tubas) carry the background. Rihanna’s vocals are very gritty, unpolished if you will. The lyrics basically explain why she’s spending this guy’s money instead of hers. The bridge is very beautiful. It’s a great contrast between Rihanna’s grit and the beautiful, flowy harmony. The uhuhuh‘s, which should be utterly annoying, just sound cool. This song is hot.

Rehab
4:54

‘Rehab’ will be the single after ‘Breakin’ Dishes’ in 2008. Did anyone else but me think of Amy Winehouse? Well, this song sounds nothing like that. The lyrics speak of how Rihanna is so much in love that she has to check in to a rehab clinic to get out of it. It’s always hard to let someone go. A tamborine is the most notable background instrument followed by deep bass punching. Violins and cellos also make low-key appearances along with Justin Timberlake. He does the backup vocals. I think it’s a pretty song. Synth bleaps lead us into…

Question Existing
4:06

…a synth-heavy song. Dizzying synth loops pull in and out of focus for the entire song. Deep lyrics really pull this song through. “Who am I living for?” That, by the way, is the question that is existing. There are some moments of absolutely stunning harmony and some stunning lyrics. The music, while is great, only plays very much up-stage of these words. A very heartfelt questioning of her life, which was not something I was expecting from Ms. Rihanna. Wow.

Good Girl Gone Bad
3:35

An acoustic guitar driven, up-tempo message song, the namesake of the album, ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ brings up the issue of men treating women without goodness and respect. This song is a good, solid ending to a wonderful pop album. Harmonies carry the chorus. A bit on the Jordan Sparks-side alla Tatoo.

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From what I can tell, Rihanna has “gone bad” and the slow songs are her warnings and fast songs are what happens in the club, bedroom, cars… :D… Good Girl Gone Bad is a wonderful Pop & B album with shots of rock, soul, and electronica. It was the 15th best selling album of 2007 and her best selling album to date. Rihanna definitely has stayin’ power and if this album is any indication, we should have a new pop princess for the last half of the 00’s. On a listeners note, the album sinks in the middle, but both ends are great… If you can get through to ‘Lemme Get That’ you’re in for a treat.

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~ by vinyabarion on January 11, 2008.

4 Responses to “Good Girl Gone Bad: Umbrella ft. Jay-Z, Shut Up and Drive, Don’t Stop the Music, Hate That I Love You ft. Ne-yo, Breakin’ Dishes”

  1. B+?!

    I disagree! A, dude, A. This was pop perfection, one of the best examples of today’s GOOD American mainstream music. The middle takes a while to get used to because, it’s not as accessible as the first half of the album, but it’s great in it’s subtle, technical ways.

    To each his own, though!

  2. I only gave it a B+ because of the middle songs. The end and beginning are pop perfection, I completely agree. I may have been too hard on it… but those middle songs are just not up to snuff with the rest of this album. And I utterly agree, ‘to each his own’…

  3. The album is great, the only song that spoils the flow for me is ‘Say It’- a really terrible Filler

  4. She has sold in excess of 5.5 millions recently.The staying power of the album is just too addictive…i love the whole album. No doubt. I love Ri Ri too. She’s a fashion perfectionist… I hate Beyonce however…because people are starting to compare Rihanna with her…Rihanna is young but Beyonce is old…So, it’s unfair for Beyonce. Factually. Beyonce has been staying longer in the industry, so, it’s not a question mark if she has more fans,but of course,she’s old….

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