Rihanna
Good Girl Gone Bad
(Def Jam)
The young Barbadian Rihanna injects herself gamely into every elaborate setup. Samples of Lionel Richie and New Order propel the flirty moves of “Push Up on Me” and hungry dominance of “Shut Up and Drive.” Eight producers, including Jay-Z and Timbaland, shape the eight tracks. It may leave you pondering whether star projects could plug any joker into their machine, fix the odd bum note and fit it to the demands of the day. The presence of such a lame tune as “Don’t Stop the Music” is almost reassuring that there is a way to fail. Rihanna shines through all the designer beats, a pleasing presence likely to give Beyoncé and her ilk a run for their ubiquity.
Doug Taylor

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