(RDS, Dublin, Ireland - February 27th, 2008)
It's been a sensational ride to fame for the 18-year-old who caught the attention of Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson's superproducers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken. Struck by her combination of dancehall, calypso, reggae and soul, Rihanna recorded her first album 2005's Music of the Sun and this year's A Girl Like Me.
Her show was a Disney-esque choreographed fantasy of non-stop hip-swivelling, sassy attitude and personal endearments and a string of funky, sugar-free hits, such as We Ride, Unfaithful, Kisses Don't Lie and the Soft Cell-inspired SOS that, even by hip-hop standards, was surprisingly forgettable. The music took a back seat to fashion as Rihanna had a hard time singing in tune, while her dancing was little more than strutting back and forth. Meanwhile, her hyperactive DJ kept telling us to make some noise, which I thought Rihanna was already doing sufficiently well on her own!
Notwithstanding, Rihanna’s bubble-gum-sing-along-type music, namely Hate That I Love You (featuring Neo on her latest album Good Girl Gone Bad), Shut Up And Drive and her biggest hit to date Umbrella, remixed with a rocksteady outro, found its mark.
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