Rated R - Rihanna
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 284 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 284

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  1. Aug 20, 2011
    0
    After the 'Good Girl Gone Bad' era, I was expecting a huge record from Rihanna. Rated R was a letdown. The ballads are sappy and seemed to be pulled from Celine Dions reject pile. Not good at all.
  2. Aug 29, 2010
    10
    An amazing album that shows Rihanna's dark side and a lots of provocative (Rude Boy, Rockstar 101, Hard) and those lyrics who describe her relationship with Chris Brown (Russian Roulette, Fire Bomb, Stupid In Love, Cold Case Love). With Rude Boy she got back to the bright Rihanna, unlike the whole trying to be a hard chick. On this record she fused various numbers of genres like pop, r'n'b, dub-step (Rockstar 101, Mad House, Wait Your Turn),mix of modern sound and dance hall in worldwide hit Rude Boy and she even tried to get more edgy and rock sound in Rockstar with Slash and in Fire Bomb.
    Although the used a lots of auto tune in Rude Boy, Photographs, Fire Bomb, Rockstar, Hard and even in her beautiful ballad Cold Case Love we could see her amazing vocal abilities.
    Again Rihanna proofed that she's a R&B Diva and shared with fans her painfull story.
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  3. Sep 14, 2011
    0
    'Rated R' is a letdown from GGGB. There is too much filler and it sounds like she's trying to hard to convey the "dark" pop star role. However, she's at her best in the Caribbean inspired 'Rude Boy'
  4. Nov 21, 2011
    10
    This album is a work of art. None of her albums were able to beat this one. Loud was a commercial album, made just for selling. Not that I don't like it, but it's true. Talk That Talk is an amazing album, but Rated R still reigns.
  5. Nov 1, 2012
    10
    Rihanna's best work ever. Although it wasn't such a success in sales and the public would rather go hear "Loud" or "Talk That Talk", Fenty proves that she can belt out ballads anytime she wants.
  6. May 23, 2011
    10
    It seems Pops most innovative stars create music during times of turmoil and struggle. Rated R is the soulful and heartbreaking version of Britney Spears' sexed up Blackout. Both Albums are to this day the best albums I have ever bought.
  7. Nov 1, 2010
    10
    Rihanna's best album by far. Rated R exhibits Rihanna's dark side after the harsh reality of her abuse. Songs like "Wait Your Turn" "Hard" and "Rude Boy" have the pop beats and lyrics that her former albums had, but Rated R has a different side. "Cold Case Love" is a dark song about a strong, and forceful love that relates to her relationship with Chris Brown....Check this album out
  8. Oct 6, 2010
    10
    Rated R is a masterpiece, that marks our century with beautiful ballads, fierce lyrics and sassy spirit.
    Rihanna has done it again, she has introduced a new style to her music that was missing in her previous album, yet maintaining her image as a Daring Diva whos willing to try new sounds.

    Love it!
  9. Jul 7, 2011
    0
    Aside from a couple songs, this is pretty boring with songs like Stupid In Love, Rockstar 101, Wait Your Turn. Not her best. My favorite is Te Amo & Firebomb
  10. Nov 6, 2010
    10
    If you are a fan of true pop, you'll love the album. Rihanna delivers some beautiful ballads and also catchy songs that will be stuck in your head. Her best album so far.
  11. Nov 14, 2010
    10
    Best album. Great catchy songs keep 'em coming! I love the songs rude boy, hard and rockstar!!!!!!!! I can't wait for the new album LOUD I already love the song what's my name from that album.
  12. Nov 19, 2010
    8
    A bleak interpretaion of the last year, overall a solid pop album with some rock and latin influence. While her uptempo numbers are good, it's her ballads, Stupid in Love, Cold Case Love and lead single Russian Roulette that really stand out when she shows off those pipes. The album is unevenly paced, but rightly so. Probably the best pop record of the year.
  13. Nov 21, 2010
    1
    "Very boring - you've heard it all before. Nothing catchy and undeniable. Strange, but the only good songs, "Fire Bomb" and "The Last Song", are both produced by Brian Kennedy and are both pop-sad. Probably because sadness is the same for sweet girl Rihanna and her Rated R version." completely agree with you
  14. Nov 25, 2010
    8
    Probably, Rihanna's best album to the date, because at difference of "Loud" we can say that the song are Rihanna's songs because she co-wrote it.
  15. Nov 26, 2010
    10
    Rated R is the best, most fascinating and artistic album of Rihanna. Before, I found Rihanna as trying too hard to be edgy in the album but all of her songs are good and coherent. The theme of revenge, dark, and being betrayed is present in all tracks. For me, the album doesn't care the chart performance because it is not appealing to the audience.
  16. Nov 21, 2011
    10
    This album is simply amazing. I LOVE how she can go extra low with her voice. I love the mood of this album. Makes you feel pretty badass. Personally, i like stupid in love the best. I think this is her best album. Better than LOUD and Talk That Talk to me.
  17. Jun 4, 2011
    8
    Rihanna recovers from the infamous Chris Brown-incident with an album that is both depressing, emotional and moving as well as fierce, dangerous and edgy.

    Some were shocked to find out what had become of their favorite Barbadian party girl. But as Beyoncé had Sasha Fierce, Rihanna is willing to show off her alter ego as well. Question is, was it too early to let the new
    Rihanna Chris Brown has unintentionally created take over, or is it appropriate for the R&B princess to let her dark side get the best of her, considering what happened? The urban superstar is chaotic and immersive at times, as proven by the unappealingly scary Mad House. As well, she appears to be trying to hard to maintain an edgy and dangerous tone and image. The immelodious mess that is G4L proves my point, as goosebumps run down one's arms when Rihanna's voice sneers along minor tones and Auto-Tune blurs the chaos together. Same goes for the overly melodramatic The Last Song in which the Barbadian singer's emotional reminiscing takes down the quality of her sound. I would almost note that RiRi's voice doesn't seem to fit for weeping ballads, if it wasn't for the slight brilliance that Stupid In Love weighs in. Although this track's sadness is annoying at times, the lyrical tone and calypso-resembling underbeats level up the track to that of an enchanting break-up song. The beats are continued in almost cheerful, late-night lesbian experience hinting song Te Amo and the intruiging Cold Case Love which appears to be a slower version of Stupid in Love. Cold Case Love is by far one of the best tracks on the album, striking at Chris Brown lyrically several times. The song delivers a litteral CB-reference once (''What you did to me was a crime"), then continues to ultimately deny the obvious ("Your love was breaking the law") by changing the subject from physical to emotional harm, finally combining the two neatly. But Rihanna's producers and management have made sure their cash cow wouldn't drown in a sea of despair completely by nailing down a few playful, tough and upbeat songs. These songs, however, prove incapable of changing the album's dark overall tone. The happiest tune found is the #1 hit Rude Boy, an obvious musical reference to seventies and eighties feminism (think Grace Jones as well as Madonna and Blondie) and a lyrical anthem to one-night stands, stating Rihanna might be hurt and broken down, but is still dirty and down with the boys. This message is continued in the enthralling Fire Bomb, which would've been a highlight if it hadn't been for the annoying hardrock underbeat which starts the song. By far the best track on the album is the phenomonal Hard, for which RiRi collaborated with Young Jeezy. The track suggests fire, fierceness and danger, as well as an enormous ego and arrogance on the level of Kanye West. But let's not forget the words of that other R&B miracle, Beyoncé, who once sang: "Some call it arrogant, I call it confident." As long as Rihanna keeps her ego down in real life, the arrogance of Hard mesmerizes and thrills to the max. But that was it for the good news. The will.i.am collaboration Photographs is nice at first sight, but fails to impress after careful relistening. And the one who penned down the awful Russian Roulette for Rihanna, should be fired! Rihanna's voice, coming deep from her throat, transforms this drag to something that's even worse. Accompanied by that horrible music video, the choice of Russian Roulette as the album's lead single was what discouraged me to buy Rated R in the first place. Expand
  18. Feb 4, 2012
    6
    I Love Rihanna.. But This Album Was Well Meh.. I Loved Russian Roulette, Rude Boy, And Photographs. The Rest Were Ok....
    My Favorite Rihanna Albums:
    1- LOUD
    2- TALK THAT TALK
    3- GOOD GIRL GONE BAD: RELODED
  19. Jun 2, 2011
    9
    Finally revealing the edginess we've long hoped for, here is the Barbadian pop star's most creative effort and she needn't it be radio-friendly to be a success. Her own Velvet Rope and vengeful masterpiece.
  20. May 26, 2011
    8
    Definitely her best album, very dark and personal. It's a shame she put out such a generic album (LOUD) once this wasn't that successful commercially though.
  21. Aug 14, 2011
    8
    With all due respect to Rihanna, Chris Brown's assault was the best thing that happened to her career. After her less than exciting Good Girl Gone Bad, she needed something fresh to pick up the slack. She found it. The highlights of this album include Hard, Rockstar 101, Firebomb, Te Amo, Russian Roulette, and Rude Boy. It should also be noted that this album contains less ballads than Good Girl Gone Bad, so if you too found that album to be a bore, don't be afraid to try this. Expand
  22. Aug 19, 2011
    0
    Not a good album at all. I only like 1 song, which is 'Rude Boy' I'm a Rih fan, but no there are no hits on this... I prefer LOUD though. Songs like Stupid In Love, Photographs and the other slow songs are a borefest.
  23. Dec 3, 2011
    6
    Normally, I would stray away from over-produced pop-stars, but this album has personality. Even if it's a very dark side that's interesting. Great record.
  24. Sep 14, 2011
    0
    'Rated R' could of been good. It's just very boring and no excitement that I expected it would be... Her vocals have improved though, but more work is needed.
  25. Nov 19, 2011
    0
    Boring album with sappy ballads. Rihanna is not able to evoke the emotions that is required for some of the songs, instead it comes off as sappy and bland.
  26. DMB
    Dec 14, 2011
    10
    One of the best pop albums of all time! I wasn't really a fan of Rihanna until I listened to this album.
    Absolutely Flawless.
  27. Mar 6, 2012
    7
    This is probably My favorite rihanna album due to fact she's a bad ass on this album. Her features and her songs makes her sound intimidating and powerful. This is Rihanna's Best Work
  28. Apr 30, 2012
    9
    Simply perfect. Rihanna got through their emotions with sincerity after previous events, which gave the album a personal touch and can be seen from afar as his best.
  29. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    Rated R is, by far, Rihanna's best work yet. Even if the album takes a quite shameful profit of Rihanna's private life situation at the moment, the quality of the record is undeniable. It is sad that this one was not as successful as Good Girl Gone Bad, being, in fact, her least successful album, tied with "Music of the Sun". This, to me, is a proof of how the general public doesn't take her seriously, and that's disappointing, but understandable. This album is the only one where her has taken a role as an artist. She has writing credits on some songs, including the best song on the album "Fire Bomb". I fear she will never take that role again, given the much more successful "Loud". She saved this album's campaign with the smash single "Rude Boy" with is an extremely simple yet enjoyable Caribbean-pop record. That could make us expect what was, sadly, coming next.

    Highlights: Cold Case Love, Fire Bomb, Stupid in Love, Wait your Turn.
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  30. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    Every song is amazing. Vocals, songwriting and production all impressed me.
    Fire Bomb is incredible. Many different types of dark sounds were incorporated, even in the grimy hip-hop/pop -type songs, like the chilling production of G4L.
  31. May 31, 2012
    5
    I Feel Bad Giving Rihanna Anything Below A 8...
    I Only Listen And Like Only 3 Songs On This Album.. They Arent Bad Songs.. There Just Not Catchy And Popy Like Rihanna Is...
    Sadly This Is Not What I Am Looking For...
  32. Aug 24, 2012
    8
    I feel like this is Rihanna's best work. "mad house" was an amazing intro and each song was amazing. I feel like she simply wanted to amaze people in her "rude boy" track. That was her worst track. But she shows her bad side and the old her in the "Russian roulette" track. Overall a great album.
  33. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    Still her best and most highest quality album. Rated R got something special and stands out from her other albums. Maybe, troubles in her life in those times made this work great. My score is addressed not only to the album, but to this era and image too. Rated R is good from opener to the end. Every song isn't useless and every song is enjoyable and listenable, containing difference to one another and got some interesting processing. 'Mad House' is steamy, 'Hard' & 'Rockstar 101' are agressive, 'Wait Your Turn' & 'G4L' are uprising, 'Russian Roulette' & 'Te Amo' are soft, 'Rude Boy' & 'Cold Case Love' are rhythmic, and final song is like a freedom from darkness of the album. But not looking for this diversity, the whole album sounds integral. This is a case how a brief rock'n'roll influence and dubstep/electronic elements can make sound pop music worth. Expand
  34. Nov 19, 2012
    10
    One of the four of Rihanna's best albums. All the songs are awesome and flow as a story based on the assault attack that Brown made on Rihanna. Rated R
  35. Feb 5, 2013
    8
    Another solid Rihanna album that isn't up there as one of her best but not far behind it. Not the best single choices were made but as a whole its a solid album that had enough possible hits to make it big.
  36. Jul 6, 2013
    9
    "Rated R" shows us two different sides of Rihanna and two different ways of getting along with the past: first one shows us a fragile girl who can't deal with the trouble (vulnerable, beautiful ballads like "Russian Roulette", "Cold Case Love"), the second one shows us a dubstep and hip hop diva who can deal with the problems using guns, army ("better yet Navy") and tongue-in-cheek language (big, impressive songs like "Hard" or "G4L"). Although those to parts of the CD are completely different together they make a compact album. Some of my favourite songs (excluding 4 that I mentioned before) are: raggamuffin sassy single "Rude Boy", loud and dubsteppy "Wait Your Turn", Latin influenced "Te Amo" and powerful ballad telling us about the power of love "Fire Bomb". Well done Rihanna, well done!

    9 out of 10
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  37. Aug 14, 2013
    4
    I was a little disappointed, since "Good Girl Gone Bad" was so good, or because this was a bad Rihanna CD. This is where she ultimately goes from the girl who sings "Pon De Replay" to dropping the F bomb all over.
  38. Aug 30, 2013
    9
    Brooding with raw emotion and boasting as the only album to have Rihanna serve as a co-writer for the entire track listing, and to serve as an executive producer. To date the most personal and cohesive album in her career.
  39. Nov 1, 2013
    9
    Definetely, HER BEST ALBUM, palpable emotions as always in her case. However, here after battery by our awesome Chris Brown even more noticeable. This album incorporates psycho themes and I like it so much!!! "The Mad House" is my favourite intro ever. "Hard" is my personal anthem and "Fire Bomb" makes me feel like I am not the only one with my maybe a little naive but romantic soul. Such a warm song! Expand
  40. Nov 6, 2013
    10
    Her most darkness album. I love it. Its so... intense! The song "Cold Case Love" touch your soul, definitely... And "Rude Boy" sneaks a bit of context, but it's a different song, and still good.
  41. Dec 6, 2013
    9
    Rihanna's best album so far with great songs that all stand out individually. The standout tracks have to be 'Photographs' and 'Russian Roulette' with the letdown being 'Te Amo' but I still like that song but not as much in contrast with the others. But considering that by averaging out the 13 songs scores I got 8.62 it shows that this album is actually pretty good.
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jun 24, 2011
    60
    You are way, way better off not projecting any kind of emotional subtext onto this record.
  2. What works as therapeutic psychodrama for the singer doesn't always work quite as well as pop music, which, from the shiny surfaces, it's clear everyone here is still striving for.
  3. Nothing else on the album can top 'Russian Roulette,' but they certainly complement it, and make its startling conclusion feel sadly inevitable.