The singer vows to be a faithful friend during rainy seasons on “Umbrella” (featuring Jay-Z). The Ne-Yo duet “Hate That I Love You” states, “I can’t stay mad at you for too long/That’s wrong.” Rihanna demands fidelity on the title cut, blasting men who get frisky at clubs while their “good [read: tolerant] girls” wait at home.
At 19 Rihanna fully embraces her sexuality, both in her lyrics and photo shoots. “Say It” and “Sell Me Candy” invite men to explore their fantasies between the sheets. Her body is the car in the auto metaphor “Shut Up and Drive.” “Push Up on Me” is as sexual as it sounds (“Come up to my room you sexy little thing/… You wanna come get me outta my dress”). “Umbrella” contains erotic overtones too, and the line between dancing and intercourse is a thin one on “Don’t Stop the Music.” A woman scorned swears, destroys property and says she won’t calm down until she sees police lights (“Breakin’ Dishes”). “Lemme Get That” advises ladies to use their bodies to get what they want, be it love, cars, yachts, furniture or designer fashions.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty told Entertainment Weekly, “I think every teenager has a point in their life when they go into their own world and shut out everybody’s opinion. That’s what I’m doing.” Point teens toward Proverbs 12:15 and 19:20 … and away from this album.
Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.