For the past ten years, Rihanna has been one of the biggest superstars in the world. She has scored hit after hit and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. This week, the superstar from Barbados is at No. 8 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 with “Needed Me.” Trying to pick out Rihanna’s five best songs is certainly a daunting task, especially given she has provided such good music over the years.
No. 5: “Stay,” from album Unapologetic (2012)
“Stay,” a duet with Mikky Ekko, was released as the second single from Unapologetic and it showcased Rihanna’s underrated vocal talent. It peaked at No. 3 on Billboard‘s Hot 100. The lyrics are about temptation and resistance. “Stay” is still a recurrent radio hit till this day.
No. 4: “Disturbia” from album Good Girl Gone Bad (2008)
“Disturbia” was one of the biggest dance hits of 2008, and it even hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. There were several remixes for the song, but none compares to the original. The song is about being obsessed with negative feelings. The song’s co-writer, Chris Brown, would soon make headlines for beating up Rihanna. Still, the fact Brown co-wrote the song doesn’t take away from its brilliance. Digital Spy called “Disturbia” a fun-packed electronic treat that has sizzling beats and crazy (in a good way) vocal effects.
No. 3: “Diamonds” from album Unapologetic (2012)
“Diamonds” was the first release from the album Unapologetic, and like the first release from Rihanna’s previous albums, the song hit No. 1. It was co-written by Sia, who just scored her own No. 1 song at the age of 43. One could even imagine Sia as the main singer of this song. This is a simple love song, and, at the time, it was a surprise coming from a singer who scored several hits about unhealthy relationships. Surprisingly, Amy Sciarretto of Pop Crush said the song was bland.
“‘Diamonds’ is sorta safe for Rihanna. Lyrically and melodically, it sounds more like something Kelly Clarkson would sing. Ri’s not known for her uplifting proclamations; she’s too busy telling you how she wants you to take her to bed. But here, she sings about being ‘diamonds in the sky.’ Ho-hum.”
The song earned positive notes from most other critics and is one of Rihanna’s biggest selling digital singles to date.
No. 2: “We Found Love” from album Talk That Talk (2011)
“We Found Love” was the first single from Rihanna’s 2011 album Talk That Talk and features Taylor Swift’s future boyfriend, Calvin Harris. The lyrics take a back seat to Harris’ production, which some say is his best yet. The song is Rihanna’s biggest hit to date and it spent 10 weeks at No. 1. The song received mixed reviews upon its release. Rolling Stone gave it only two stars.
“The first release from Rihanna’s as-yet-untitled sixth LP is much ado about very little indeed. Scottish Euro-dance specialist Calvin Harris tosses pumped-up synths and 4/4 beats at an insipid tune and half-baked romantic catch-phrase – ‘We found love in a hopeless place’ – which RiRi repeats approximately 350 times.”
No. 1: “Take A Bow” from album Good Girl Gone Bad (2008)
“Take a Bow” is not only a major standout from Rihanna’s album Good Girl Gone Bad, it’s an absolute standout from every album she has ever released. The single, which hit No. 1, is one of the best ballads in years. It hits you hard, but makes you feel soft. Rihanna’s voice in the song manages to be both soulful and vengeful. Once again, “Take a Bow” is yet another song that was underestimated by critics. Digital Spy said that “Take a Bow” does what it sets out to do well, but it’s an underwhelming follow-up to the dance floor gem “Don’t Stop The Music.”
Speaking of “Don’t Stop The Music,” do you think the song should have been on this list? What are your favorite songs from Rihanna? Let us know in the comments section.
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