How Rihanna Are RiRi's Singles, Really?

by Rachel Semigran

"Ohhh na, na. What's my name?" is what we think of when we think of Rihanna. (Well — that and her fearless fashion, badass tattoos, and her hilarious Instagram comments, that is.) Rihanna's song style has gone from club hit maker to Paul McCartney collaborator. Her latest song, "FourFiveSeconds" featuring Sir Paul McCartney (you know of that little band called THE BEATLES) and Kanye West, for instance, is a huge success — but it's also a far cry from what you would expect from the Rihanna who released "Pon de Replay" in 2005: There's an acoustic guitar where we might expect a club-friendly beat.

Don't get me wrong, I like it when Rihanna mixes it up. In most of her hits, her actual voice is overshadowed by production tricks and DJ-hoozy-whats-its that make the kids these days want to shake their rumps. I get that, it sells. Rihanna is at her best when she gives her full on bad gal RiRi attitude, or when she does a total 180º and does something that's more stripped down and artful. It's only when her music falls between those two options that it becomes a bit... meh.

There are those songs that as soon as the first lyric pops, you know its Rihanna and those that take a few listens to recognize it's actually Rihanna. Here's ranking the least to most RiRi-tastic singles:

21. "FourFiveSeconds"

Go for it, Ri.

20. "Rehab"

Hard pass. Doesn't sound like Rihanna!

19. "Stay"

I thought Adele was the only artist that's supposed to make me want to cry in a bathtub!

18. "Take a Bow"

This barely sounds like a Rihanna song.

17. "Unfaithful"

Aaand I actually forgot that this was a Rihanna song.

16. "Hate That I Love You"

This belongs as background music in a teen drama and nowhere else.

15. "Shut Up And Drive"

Ah, there's that snarl I've been missing.

14. "Love the Way You Lie"

More Rihanna, less Eminem, please.

13. "Disturbia"

Deducting points for RiRi reminding me of that terrible Shia LeBeouf movie, Disturbia.

12. "S.O.S."

La la la la la la la la la OH. OH. OH. Yep, there's the Rihanna we know and love!

11. "Live Your Life"

The fa-ancy ca-ars!

10. "Only Girl (In the World)"

Sorry, this just got stuck in your head, didn't it?

9. "Don't Stop the Music"

The ULTIMATE late night dance party anthem.

8. "We Found Love"

Still unforgettable.

7. "Break It Off"

Extra RiRi bonus because Sean Paul loves saying everyone's names in his songs. Especially his own.

6. "S&M"


5. "Diamonds"

Can you say it any other way than, "Di-a-monds" now?

4. "What's My Name?"

Technically, it's Robyn Fenty.

3. "Umbrella"

Even to this day, everyone I know says "ella, ella, ella" when asking to borrow an umbrella. True story.

2. "Rude Boy"

Could anyone else BUT Rihanna make this work?

1. "Pon De Replay"

I rest my case.