Rihanna: Music of the Sun Album Review

Rihanna: Music of the Sun Album Review


Score: 70/100

Top 3 Tracks: Pon De Replay, That La La La, Let Me

Pon De Replay: 9/10

A great four-on-the-floor track that has elements of urban pop along with dancehall flourishes. It’s a great call to the dance-floor. Plus the inclusion of the Kill Bill sample is clever.

Here I Go Again: 6/10

The midtempo and the carefree Caribbean vibe is more of what the rest of the album is like, more so than Pon De Replay. It’s a little too slow for my taste and I don’t find anything too interesting to it, but it’s a chill song.

If It’s Lovin’ That You Want: 7/10

I like that it has more of the dancehall-Caribbean vibe without being overwhelming. It can get a little repetitive without any bridge in the middle, but I like the beat.

You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No): 6/10

This track follows the mid-tempo of Here I Go Again, which after a couple of tracks, it gets a little dull. No song on the album so far has the same fun beat as Pon De Replay, which is disappointing. The presence of Vybz Kartel gets a little overwhelming  as he’s constantly injecting himself into the verses. Ri’s vocals are great, but the slow, dragging chorus gets grating after awhile.

That La La La: 9/10

Ah, finally! I love the crunk-pop feel of the song. It feels like a street battle with Ri and her crew telling off another girl for getting close to her man. Love the banging drums and the chorus. Great track.

The Last Time: 7/10

I really like the Latin influences in this solid R&B track. Her vocals in the chorus are also strong and declarative, making her believable when she says that it’s the last time he’ll ever make her cry. Rihanna is done. There are some unfortunate lyrics — “fool me once/shame on you/fool me twice/now the song is through.” It also goes on for too long.

Willing to Wait: 5/10

Standard teen-pop song about abstinence. These songs are never good and they always seem a little disingenuous. This one is no exception. It’s pretty standard, nothing new is added to the genre. The R&B track sounds similar to The Last Time, just in a major key. I’m not a big fan of the synths or the instrumental and it’s another song that’s just too long.

Music of the Sun: 6/10

A nice care-free midtempo in the vein of Here I Go Again. It has a beautiful Latin guitar melody. It’s breezy and just makes you happy. Unfortuantely, it just sort of fades into the darkness at the end.

Let Me: 8/10

I really like the Arabian influences and that great sexy beat. It gives a shot of adrenaline into a lagging second-half of the album. I also really like that the beat changes up in the bridge. Nice track.

Rush: 7/10

This is another track that I feel the featured artist just overwhelms the song, but I do like it better than You Don’t Love Me. I don’t like that her voice sort of trails off at the ends of sentences in the chorus.

There’s a Thug in My Life: 8/10

Oddly catchy, especially in the chorus. I like the cute little melody and you can definitely think of it as like a pre-cursor to Britney’s “Criminal.” It’s Rihanna’s bad-girl anthem that, looking forward at her own very real thug problems, feels a little cringe-worthy now. But I like that it feels pop-y, maybe a little too Beyonce for its own good. I like the inclusion of the rapper, which rounds out the song.

Now I Know: 6/10

Eh. It’s a pretty piano ballad with a pretty melody, but it’s standard and boring and there’s nothing too great about it. Luckily, the album proper ends on the Pon De Replay remix to remind you what was good about the album in the first place.


The Caribbean and dancehall vibes are turned up to the max in Music of the Sun in order to both capitalize on the current trend in music and make Rihanna stand out more among the influx of Beyonces and Ciaras. The album works with the uptempo dance tracks, but feels lackluster and drags a bit in the middle with its mid-tempos and ballads. Otherwise, a solid urban album and debut for Rihanna.