Tag Archives: Unapologetic

Rihanna, “As Real As You And Me.”

After multiple snippets of the track were leaked from a foreign screening of Rihanna’s animated picture, Home, eager fans only had to wait a little longer until the entire song began to circulate online! A sparse, yet gorgeous, piano ballad penned by William Penn High grad, Alicia Renee Williams, “As Real As You And Me” is one of four Rihanna contributions on the motion picture’s soundtrack.

The track shares several musical and lyrical similarities with Rihanna’s Top 10 ballad, “Stay.” Recorded in B Major, or a semitone lower than “Stay”, the track shares not only the “I-ii-vi” chord progression of its predecessor, but also the Unapologetic hit’s quarter note blocked chords and solo piano arrangement.  Lyrically, the song makes a similar plea for companionship; “As Real,” however, transcends the confines of its predecessor’s focus on romantic relationships by declaring that the various worldwide catastrophes we face are “as real as you and me.” The speaker’s awareness of the possibility of death and it’s alienating nature infuses the track with deeper — dare I say, existential?— considerations than  “Stay.”

While the track may sound like a “Stay, Pt. 2,” the track is a gorgeous addition to the Home Soundtrack, which hits digital music retailers on March 23rd.

Listen to the track here!

Rihanna, Kanye West, & Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds”

Finally, the “Great Rihanna Drought of 2014” is officially over! On Saturday night, the Barbadian native dropped the new single, “FourFiveSeconds” after teasing her fans with Instagram studio snippets of two new tracks, including “Kiss It Better,” and the addictive, “Ain’t None Of This Promised.” True to Rihanna’s word that any new music would be announced via her directly, an iTunes link to the the new track was advertised on her official website with little warning (West did, however, tease the track at last week’s iHeartMedia Music Summit).

Despite Rihanna’s pushing for the track, it’s uncertain whether the cut is indeed the lead single from Rihanna’s much anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Grammy Award-winning, Unapologetic. The sparse, country influenced track features Kanye West and Paul McCartney, who previously made headlines this year after releasing West’s ode to daughter, North, “Only One.” As such, it’s questionable whether “FourFiveSeconds,” which in-itself is a drastic departure from Rihanna’s urban R&B sound, is a release from the songstress’s tentatively titled, “#R8,” or just another single from Kanye West’s own 8th studio release.

Featuring Sir McCartney on a simple acoustic guitar backdrop and organ bridge, Rihanna’s vocals shine on the track’s D major chord progression. A regretful tune detailing wayward partying and its subsequent remorse, the track’s stripped production and instrumentation is an unlikely, yet refreshing addition to the duo’s list of hits. While Rihanna’s return to the studio showcases strong and emotive vocals, Kanye’s own contribution flounders next to the “Stay” hit-maker’s formidable performance with an unnecessary pitched vocal loop underscoring Kanye’s own lackluster singing.

Grab your umbrellas, Rihanna Navy! It’ll be raining hits soon enough!

Below is Rihanna’s own viral reaction to the song’s iTunes release:

UPDATE: “This is the first song that my fans are going to hear from the new album.” Can’t help but notice that  Rihanna and McCartney never even look at each other, let alone speak with one another!