Rihanna's 'Rated R' is an album to be admired, because what she did here was document her emotions and struggles with the abuse she suffered at the hands of former boyfriend Chris Brown and put them across to the general public in the only way she saw possible - through music. Rihanna was brave and despite being at the time, at the peak of her career, she laid it all out on the table in an uncommonly raw fashion.
"I'm terrified, but I'm not leaving / I know that I must pass this test / So just pull the trigger" - Lead single from the record 'Russian Roulette' is unbelievably complex and one of if not the most mature track we've ever heard from the superstar and the generation of popstars we hear from today. The lyrics are harrowing beyond compare - "You can see my heart beating / You can see it through my chest" is later followed by the bridge: "As my life flashes before my eyes / I'm wondering will I ever see another sunrise? / So many won't get the chance to say goodbye / But it's too late to think of the value of my life".
Throughout it all it's clear that this is Rihanna's most cohesive record, often unsettling but fleshed out and from a girl who's matured and flourished into a well-rounded woman. Life experience hasn't always been great for this Barbadian, but they've forced her to learn, grow and become more aspirational.
Turning her public humiliation into an honest and artistic piece of work saw Rihanna applauded, but this is definitely a slow-burning album that should, in time becoming an iconic classic. Thank goodness that she was able to turn her life around and get away from the sickness and drama that spiralled around her for so long.
Though we're left with more questions about Rihanna's life, we've been given the truest glimpse into it that we'll likely ever see - Oprah interview aside. She's not exactly fallen out of love with Chris Brown, and he'll always be a huge factor in her life, but Rihanna had to call time on a relationship that would in the eyes of many deem domestic abuse a 'normal' part of a woman's life if this romance continued.
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