Though she spent the bulk of 2009 staying under the radar following the unfortunate fight with Chris Brown in February, Rihanna has been an absolute flurry of activity since the release of her fourth album Rated R. Since then, she has been on a killer promotional push, starred in a handful of music videos (some of the best produced all year) and hit the road with Ke$ha. Somewhere in there, she found the time to record a new album, which will be hitting stores on November 2. She already has a new single (“Only Girl (In the World),” which premiered on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show this morning) and a title, which she said will be Loud.
“I made sure not to let you down with my music!” she said during a chat on an official fan site over the weekend. “You guys are always defending me, so now you’ve got some great songs to justify it. I didn’t want to go backward and remake Good Girl Gone Bad. I wanted the next step in the evolution of Rihanna, and it’s perfect for us.”
After three albums containing four words each, Rihanna has become more and more Spartan with her titles, trimming to two words (Rated R) and now down to one with Loud. But while Loud is simple, evocative and straightforward, it is also a little bit anonymous. Considering she already recorded a track called “Rockstar 101,” perhaps it means that she is throwing back to ’90s alt-rock, which had a ton of albums with single-word titles (Kurt Cobain famously made fun of this, even though he called his first three albums Bleach, Nevermind and Incesticide). Here are a handful of examples that Rihanna could go with if she decides to abandon the Loud concept.
If Rihanna is going to continue to evolve into new styles and forms, she should definitely borrow this excellent portmanteau (which borrows from Marcy Playground’s second release).
If Rihanna decides to take a particularly profound left-hand turn with her music, she should settle on Load, the title Metallica used for their jump into ZZ Top-inspired boogie rock. In fact, Rihanna really should consider covering “Ain’t My Bitch.”
There weren’t a whole lot of people waiting for Candlebox’s second album, which might have buried the name “Lucy” for good. Rihanna can re-claim the name and give it new life.
Stone Temple Pilots’ finest work was their single-word-titled second release, so Rihanna could channel the artistic success of that album while avoiding the pitfalls that frontman Scott Weiland tumbled into.
The only full-length album by Mother Love Bone (the band that would later splinter to become part of Pearl Jam), Apple deserves a second life, both as an album and as an album title.
If it’s good enough for Replacements mastermind Paul Westerberg, it’s good enough for Rihanna. She could even augment it with a cover of “Hold My Life.”