Rihanna Gets Loud, Throws Back: MTV News' #MusicMonday

Really, you should be listening to music every day, but thanks to Twitter, Monday has become the best day of the week to discover new songs, show some love to the tune currently dominating your iPod playlist and quietly judge the listening habits of your closest friends. Yes, it's #MusicMonday, one of Twitter's most enduring trending topics. Hence "MTV News' #MusicMonday," a weekly look at the songs we are currently crushing on.

This week, a little something old and a little something new from Rihanna.

One of the most pleasant surprises of the current music season is Loud, the new album from Rihanna. Hitting stores on Tuesday (November 16) less than a year after the release of her dark 2009 opus Rated R, the new album (her fifth overall, a staggering output considering her debut dropped in 2005) sees Rihanna returning to more of a radio-friendly sound. Stocked with very few ballads and loaded up with dancefloor-friendly numbers, Loud isn't necessarily a return to form (there's probably not enough straight hip-hop on it), but it does indulge in some fantastically hedonistic melodies. The singles "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?" are both epic neck-snappers, while punchy jams like "California King Bed" and "Cheers (Drink to That)" wander into sonic territories Rihanna has only hinted at in the past. And of course the album ends on "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)," the passionate sequel to the chart-topping Eminem track about domestic abuse that continues the narrative from the first version.

This is the grand, cinematic Rihanna — the same one that sings the hook on T.I.'s "Live Your Life." While we're spinning several of the Loud songs as our #MusicMonday jams, it's "Live Your Life" that has been in heavy rotation this morning.

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What's your #MusicMonday jam? Let us know in the comments!

Want more Rihanna? Be sure to catch her in a special live performance on Monday's (November 15) episode of "The Seven" at 5 p.m. EST on MTV!