Rihanna's new album - 'a deeply disturbing listen'

(32 Posts)
Lottapianos Fri 16-Nov-12 12:59:55

Guardian review

I'm a sad git who listens to LBC so Im not exactly up to speed with the latest music but I do know about Rihanna's horrendous assault at the hands of Chris Brown a few years ago. According to this review, this assault forms the main theme of Rihanna's new album and some of the lyrics sound horrifying:

"I pray that love don't strike twice,"
"Your love hit me to the core, I was fine til you knocked me to the floor,"
"Dial 911 it's a critical emergency." shock

She actually duets with Brown on one of the songs on the album

I was always one of those who said that Rihanna didn't owe anybody anything and how she dealt with the assault was her own business, but I'm quite saddened and sickened by her today actually. I could just about begin to get my head around her decision to duet with him, but those lyrics really turn my stomach. I agree with the reviewer's theory that she is using her assault for commercial gain and it really stinks. Her fans are mostly young people and this sends the message that violent assault is trivial, even a joke, and something you can just 'get over' and move past and hey, even stay friends (or whatever) with your abuser. I don't think that's a message that should be out there. Awful sad

BerryLellow Fri 16-Nov-12 13:23:34

It's rumoured that they are actually back together too.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Fri 16-Nov-12 13:28:46

She seems very self-destructive. Not to say it's in any way her fault that Brown (disgusting opportunist that he is) attacked her; of course it isn't. But I don't think she has made great choices since then. Shame as she can actually sing.

MamaMary Fri 16-Nov-12 13:37:34

This is deeply depressing and disturbing. Young girls listen to Rihanna and see her as a role model.

The really disturbing factor is not that here is one female is so damaged that she can write these kind of lyrics - it's that there is a whole industry behind her dedicated to pushing this kind of stuff. In reality, Rihanna is a product. She is managed by her producer, her songwriters, managers, lawyers, etc. This is a very, very deliberate move on the part of the music industry. Rihanna for years has promoted DV and she is not the only female artist that is used to do so. Have you seen these music videoes? The imagery is unbelievable. Women are frequently tied up, in chains etc. They are often portrayed with parts of their face or body blanked out - eye masks etc. Rihanna's latest album cover is only the latest example of this: a naked Rihanna who is literally scrawled all over. This is not coincidence.

Lottapianos Fri 16-Nov-12 13:46:05

'In reality, Rihanna is a product'

Very true. I'm sure she's got loads of people, a whole industry in fact, behind her pushing for this.

'Women are frequently tied up, in chains etc. They are often portrayed with parts of their face or body blanked out - eye masks etc.'

I don't watch any music video channels so I haven't seen these videos but I have heard similar stuff about the imagery used. It's horrifying to think that some children (and adults actually) live in homes where this kind of thing is on TV day and night.

When Rihanna was first around, I really like her because I thought she had a really tough sulky look about her and didn't seem like the usual little music poppet who was bending over backward to please others. How very wrong I was sad

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 16:38:20

I absolutely agree with MamaMary. The music industry is deeply misogynist and is in fact, promoting DV as a valid lifestyle choice and the norm for relationships between men and women.

The men who run that industry are fucking sick and they are probably all abusers because you can make just as much money promoting music without DV as with it.

HalloweenNameChange Fri 16-Nov-12 20:02:08

I'll be honest with you, I think in this case it is about context. They are just shit lyrics and I wouldn't read anything in to them at all nor would I think of dv at all. I wold have no preconceptions of the gender of the singer. I think because it is Rihanna you automatically hear things that might not be there. But that is just from reading them listed in your post, in the context of the song it might sound worse.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 20:19:14

But that's the point - they're using Rhianna to sing those lyrics, that might be innocuous if someone else sang it.

It's deliberate.

jiminyCrick Fri 16-Nov-12 22:49:39

I didn't used to mind Rihanna until that awful man beat her up ...and she went back to him.

I thought it was shocking and awful that he did that to her, I thought, she'll make a stand, she's got young female fans, the industry won't let him get away with this.

She went back to him almost immediately I seem to remember, and then broke it off, and they've been sniffing around each other ever since [if that's not the way it is, she should make more of a stand against it]

I don't know, I was just saddened that someone in her position gave the message that it's ok for a man to do that. It's what I saw. Since then I have no respect for her.

jiminyCrick Fri 16-Nov-12 22:50:12

And Chris Brown is a C**T in case it isn't obvious that I thought that and should be shunned by society.

To be fair jiminy she's hardly the first woman to struggle to make a clean break from an abusive partner. But those lyrics are appalling.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 17-Nov-12 13:31:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LastMangoInParis Sat 17-Nov-12 13:31:37

I had the same thought about Rhianna 'product' and that this 'controversial' album must be the most desperate publicity seeking/marketing attempt. I wonder what sort of discussions went on in developing and promoting R as glamorously and edgily damaged/self-destructive. Hideous and pathetic. (And the music's dull and derivative too, apparently.)

grimbletart Sat 17-Nov-12 15:48:21

I know it will make me unpopular with some (many?) on here, who think it is always wrong for a woman to criticise another woman, but I am totally exasperated with a woman like Rhianna who goes back to an abuser. I can (just) understand a beaten down mother who has no money and children to look after, nowhere to go and clean out of self-esteem, but Rhianna is a famous and wealthy pop star who is well able to fend for herself without that tosser and won't be short of new contracts. She must have had a certain amount of confidence and drive to have got as far as she has. What the hell is up with her?

MamaMary Sat 17-Nov-12 16:02:12

Grimbletart, what is up is that she's not her own person now. She started off as a talented, feisty but ironically 'good' girl who said her grandmother would be disappointed to see her in skimpy clothes, and she didn't want to disappoint her grandma. How far she has come.

As soon as she started to achieve success, she signed with a big label. That involved a huge amount of money but it also meant signing away her independence. These labels have a huge amount of control over their artists.

As apparent in the high profile cases of Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse drugs are involved.

grimbletart Sat 17-Nov-12 16:10:45

Yes MamaMary - I feel mean having limited sympathy for her and understand what you say - it's a bit like the way that film studios used to 'own' their stars in the 1930s and 1940s.

But there is still a part of me that says that women must be strong enough to take responsibility for their lives. And no record company can force a woman to go back to a man who beat her. That would never stand up in any court should she be challenged over break of contract.

jiminyCrick Sat 17-Nov-12 17:42:52

I agree with Grimbletart...this is not an ordinary situation, she was not dependent on him, and certainly could have got help if she needed.

Furthermore, she is in a position where her behaviour is scrutinised by the media and fans (some young, female) it was not the right message to give.

SamuraiCindy Sat 17-Nov-12 19:06:25

I concur with Jiminy and Grimble...she should have given that thug the heave ho and never looked back. If not for herself, then for all the young girls (and boys) who look up to her.

I also think she might have sadly gone the way of britney, Amy, and whitney, and isn't making the best decisions right now.

chocoreturns Sun 18-Nov-12 20:57:50

I'm sorry but I don't think that she is being given a fair break by you guys. She's a victim of an abusive relationship, working in an industry that promotes abusive behaviours. Having access to money is not the same thing as having access to the kind of treatment and support that promotes recovery from DV. And a violent attack will not be the only thing she was subjected to, violence occurs after prolonged emotional and psychological abuse in almost all cases. Her willingness to go back to him is simply (and sadly) quite 'normal' in DV relationships. As is her self-destructive, self-loathing behaviour.

Frankly I thank god I'm a person not a product, and I am free to go on the Freedom course and restore my self esteem without having to be a 'role model' for young women, or stand up for something. She's not even 25 yet - she's a vulnerable young woman sad I feel very, very sad for her. When I was 24 and leaving an abusive relationship I was eating disordered, depressed and unbelievably lonely. It's taken me until I am 30 and living through another, equally abusive but different relationship, to reach a point where I have found the support victims of DV and DA should have. I don't think that she should be judged for not being strong enough to stand up for her rights or whatever else - until you've been in her shoes you don't know what you might do.

mignonette Sun 18-Nov-12 20:59:24

I wonder what Beyonce's take is on this bearing in mind her marriage to JayZ who has strong control over Rihanna's career?

mignonette Sun 18-Nov-12 21:00:40

Rihanna has probably swallowed the 'It is empowering and you are taking back control' argument sadly............

BertieBotts Sun 18-Nov-12 21:13:43

I think it's very very sad, and not surprising at all.

I agree with choco too - it's not her fault, she's reacting exactly as any abuse victim does, it's just that she happens to be in the public eye. We should be angry with the society and the way that the industry in which she is operates, to be so supportive of this pattern and not to intervene and break it.

It's only because her abusive relationship was so public that these lyrics are being taken notice of - many other artists who have had similar experiences write similar things, and many many people listen and connect emotionally to the music because they have had or are having the same experiences.

See Evanescence - Good Enough for an example off the top of my head, and there are songs written by male artists too which if you look closely at the lyrics sound exactly like an abuser's mindset or rationalisation for their own actions. This comes to mind - Matchbox Twenty, Our Song

Plus the majority of music in the charts is utterly fucked up and mysoginist even when it's supposed to be romantic in general hmm

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 18-Nov-12 21:19:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertieBotts Sun 18-Nov-12 21:20:12

Well, quite, SGM.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now