wed 24/07/2024

CD: Rihanna - Talk That Talk | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Rihanna - Talk That Talk

CD: Rihanna - Talk That Talk

The saucy Bahamian is still successfully selling sensuality as much as songs

Rihanna: saucepot

Dateline July 14th, 2357, New Oxford Excavation, UK Sector 71. Uncovered a remarkable haul of artefacts from the early 21st century. Most pristine among these is a sonic data disc, theoretically a devotional item related to the contemporaneous female fertility symbol known as Rihanna. The disc was discovered intact in a transparent plastic case accompanied by a 120 x 120mm stapled booklet. It appears the disc’s primary purpose was related to sexual arousal.

Photographic images within the booklet, both black-and-white and colour, offer up Rihanna in a multiplicity of sexual availability – eroticised nicotine smoking, massaging her chest area and flaunting multiple naked erogenous zones.

The disc appears to be the sixth in a series that Rihanna sold to the public. The primary focus over 11 songs is Rihanna’s insatiable desire for sexual activity. “Suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion”, she demands at one point, and later, “Keep it up for me, you can do it”. There is much more in a similar vein. She is backed by music typical of what’s been discovered from that era, a time when mainstream America embraced a watered-down version of European electronic club music of the previous two decades. She gathers other figures who were presumably her musical peers – Jay-Z and Calvin Harris – but the collection is really an excuse for Rihanna to boast, preen and strut with lewd panache; something, it has to be admitted, she does impeccably.

The music, however, while fruity, ebullient and enjoyable in places, was clearly a secondary concern, merely a fraction of the content that the persuasive business concern, brand Rihanna, must have placed on multiple media platforms. It is a credit to her that, despite the raw cynicism inherent in such an operation, she still comes across as remarkably likeable, and it's easy to see why she might have been worshipped during the last great age of narcissistic materialism.

Watch the video for "We Found Love" (featuring Calvin Harris)



The primary focus over 11 songs is Rihanna’s insatiable desire for sexual activity


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Some questions for the artsdesk/ the reviewer Are you aware of the campaigns by people like Mike Stock (of Stock, Aitken and Waterman) which are trying to confront the demeaning and inappropriate sexual messages in music videos aimed at kids? When prepubescent girls copying their favourite pop role models start doing erotic dance moves and speaking like hookers is it time to maybe look a little deeper at what's going on in the music industry? Or is it better to just joke about it, or maybe try and intellectualise it (such as treating everything as 'ironic' as many reviewers do these days)? Are you aware that for many years a great deal of independent research into pop culture and mass media has been conducted and shared on the internet? Much of it helped by music industry insiders themselves. If you're not aware of this (as serious music critic) - why not?! Some examples relating to Rihanna. Do you believe the messages in music and music videos have a powerful effect on the attitudes and thoughts of young people? Or to put it another way, is music a very powerful and meaningful thing which shapes your world view and view of yourself - especially when you're young and impressionable? In an age of mass media wall to wall advertising, employing some very sophisticated psychology these days, has it ever occurred to you that those with money, influence and power might have at least thought to use pop music in a similar way to advertising? That is, to promote certain ideas and values thus moulding the public into being better consumers, and more easily controllable (dumbed down) citizens? To a large extent, the huge financial backing and media hype required to break an artist into the mainstream these days can only be provided by the music industry working in conjunction with the mass media. Would you agree that this means the industry can now effectively control who makes it big and ensure that only artists who (are prepared to) promote the messages of their financial backers get propelled to superstardom (GaGa, Rihanna, Beyonce etc)? Would you agree that this creates a kind of censorship that would certainly explain why all of the top mainstream music videos look and sound the same and promote the same basic values and contain the same symbolism? It would also explain why they are all 100% consumer friendly (in terms of political, spiritual or philosophical messages - or lack thereof) and thus the perfect vehicles for corporate advertising. Isn't it a bit odd that with the wars in the middle east so unpopular (from their very beginning, and only more so now) and with so much loss of faith in politics and the 'system' that there is no music to reflect this in the mainstream? It's as if nothing in the real world exists in mainstream culture. Strange wouldn't you say? (unless it is being controlled that is). Would you agree that the only force capable of resisting this dumbing down of music (and of the arts generally, as they're all connected) is an informed, educated, inspired, culturally literate, psychologically savvy and generally 'streetwise' public capable of voting with its wallet? A public which values authenticity more than media hype for example. A public who's tastes are not entirely dictated by the mass media marketing. How does this artsdesk review rate in terms of inspiring a more culturally literate and awake and aware public? Does pop music even deserve intelligent and 'deep' criticism? If not, might that explain why it can be full of propaganda and no one notices, or cares to think about it? Another recent artsdesk review (by a different reviewer) of Britney Spears' current tour at the O2 Arena also made light / made fun of the whole thing in a similar way to this review. The show in question was full of police state and 'Orwellian' imagery (CCTV cameras, guns, sirens, dancers dressed as police/ military etc). Check out the opening sequence here more images here In fact an 'Orwellian police state society' has become a standard theme in mainstream pop music and the fashion industry for several years now. Remember, this music might be enjoyed by adults but it is being marketed at kids. Rihanna's recent video 'S&M' depicts her engaged in some sort of ADHDS&M antics under a bank of about 20 CCTV cameras. And who can forget Beyonce's entrance to the 2009 Grammys leading a troupe of about fifty 'dancers' in full riot gear And the current Versace/ H&M campaign also features a kind of Orwellian high tech panopticon complete with CCTV cameras (gold plated of course). It also featuring all seeing eye and mind control symbolism which I don't have time to go into here. (Just be sure to watch the first episode of Derren Brown's new TV series before you dismiss mind control as crazy conspiracy nonsense). Is your pattern recognition starting to kick in yet? If not there are literally hundreds of similar examples of this. Far too many for these highly specific themes and symbols to be mere coincidence. We are currently witnessing a crashing economy, never ending wars, a rapid (and understandable) loss of faith in the corrupt and immoral political process, the Arab spring, the 'Occupy' movement and the increasing use of militarised police by the 'establishment' to quell dissent and stifle free speech. Only this weekend a video went viral on youtube showing police pepper spraying peaceful sit down students being completely peaceful on their own campus. In the same week we heard of plans to put CCTV and voice recorders in UK taxis to record all conversations. And on and on it goes.... Is it so far fetched to suggest mainstream music, TV and fashion is being used as propaganda designed to promote and desensitize the youth to the encroaching Orwellian police state and surveillance society we see being constructed all around us? (I haven't even discussed the TV show 'Big Brother' which is still being rammed down our throats after a decade and all over the world, despite plummeting ratings. Why? Why are they so keen to portray being locked in a tiny concentration camp, surveilled 24/7 and made to obey an all seeing voice of authority for rewards like food as the epitome of 'fun' and 'acceptable' behaviour?) If entertainments were not being used as a form of propaganda and indoctrination to some degree it would be exception to the rule, historically speaking. The Pentagon even admit to scripting the 80's movie 'Top Gun' as a piece of recruitment propaganda. They have a whole department devoted to working with Hollywood on such projects. I think it's called the 'film liaison department' of something. Take a look at Rihanna's video 'Hard' and tell me it is not blatant military propaganda along similar lines. I'll be honest, such casual and slightly idiotic reviews like this upset me and disturb me. What's going on in these industries is a huge and shocking subject and I have only touched on a small aspect of it. This stuff is being rammed into the impressionable minds of our children 24/7. But I am not interested in condemning either the reviewer / the artsdesk for not addressing these issues, or even the music industry and those who control it. In the end there is no need for condemnation or outrage or hysteria or the inevitable calls for censorship (a 'war on propaganda in art' to add to all the other wars). There is only a need for people to look beyond the mass media and start thinking a bit more for themselves. When you become informed and savvy to what is really going on it no longer has any power to corrupt or demoralise. The bottom line is that healthy arts rely on healthy criticism. When criticism standards drop we all end up buying our children New World Order propaganda for Christmas. Not good. But if we can learn to look a little deeper and not just mindlessly accept what is promoted by mass media and entertainment corporations we can easily steer ourselves into a new renaissance age. Seriously. Why not?!

If she carries on like she is, she'll have another album in stores by Christmas, and then another by the New Year.

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