How lucky is the number seven? That may be the question Rihanna is asking as she releases her seventh album in seven years. Already, the Barbadian-born singer is pop’s most bankable star, with 60 million singles, 25 million albums, fashion lines, perfumes and a ubiquitous social media presence. To promote her new album, she performed seven concerts in seven countries in seven days.
But Rihanna hasn’t been lucky in love, tragically becoming an assault victim at the hands of former boyfriend Chris Brown. She makes no excuses for that relationship, as shown by the album’s title, and even features the singer on “Nobody’s Business,” a widely criticized choice. But not all of Unapologetic deals with that turbulent romance. “Phresh Out the Runway” and “Right Now” are giddy club stompers, while “Diamonds” and “Numb,” a duet with Eminem, are positive and edgy respectively. When she stays clear of controversy, Rihanna has another winner.