5 Take a Bow
Take a Bow was a refreshing song for Rihanna. Instead of focusing on the overriding bass beat for the sake of a dance beat, Take a Bow is about ending a bad relationship, and focuses more on the lyrical content””poignant, considering Rihanna’s circumstances at the time. Of course, life is a lot more complicated than a pop song. Regardless, Take a Bow is a softer song whose subtlety is aptly enlightened by Rihanna’s distinct voice.
4 Only Girl (in the World)
Only Girl (in the World) reached number one on the Billboard top 100 in its 11th week. And it’s not a surprise why. A nice change of pace from Rihanna’s previously darker works, Only Girl (in the World) has a sort of romantic appeal to it. Rihanna’s voice in Only Girl (in the World) is undeniably powerful. The exceedingly forceful bass means it’s impossible not to dance to. The lyrics are of little consequence, save for the chorus, which is made important by her powerful voice.
From her most recent endeavour, Diamonds showcases Rihanna’s voice in a way that her earlier works failed to do. The slower pace makes it feel more thoughtful, and the lyrics reflect a simple, pensive quality. Of course, it is still a pop song and the driving bass means it’s hard not to tap your foot along with it. It feels like Rihanna is singing over a very loud heartbeat, which is both creepy and sweet. There seems to be a growth to Rihanna’s voice that Diamonds illuminates in a lighter, softer way making it distinct from the other pop hits on the radio.
2 Don’t Stop the Music
It was bound to be a hit, considering Michael Jackson had a hand in writing it. Don’t Stop the Music is one of the biggest singles off of Rihanna’s 2007 album “œGood Girl Gone Bad”. The minimalistic beats in the background allow Rihanna’s voice to take center stage. As the chorus comes up, the music becomes louder and makes it irresistibly danceable. There is a sexiness to the muffled bass beats””but it’s Rihanna’s power and image that make the song work.
A 2008 release, Disturbia is one of the most easily recognizable Rihanna hits to date. The lyrics, written by a collaboration of artists (including Chris Brown which is kind of creepy-ironic when you really listen to the words), have a dark, almost gothic, tone. Rihanna’s distinct voice, power, and sexiness are what make the song so appealing. For a song that is predominantly a dance-club hit, its lyrics have actual emotional relevance. Rihanna’s unique voice brings them to a whole new level, and the layered harmonies add eeriness to the already eerie theme. Of course, most don’t think about this while they’re dancing to it””and you can’t help but dance to it when it comes on.