Unapologetic - Rihanna

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Nov 19, 2012
    While this is a fine, if uneven album, the only way to enjoy a significant portion of it is by taking it as pure entertainment.
  2. Nov 26, 2012
    The measurable failure is the album's music. On a track-by-track basis, the songs make for dull labor, not worth our time and not befitting Rihanna's talent.
  3. Nov 20, 2012
    Unapologetic's stark, shadowy R&B is confrontationally honest and sung within an inch of its life.
  4. 70
    Unapologetic makes a compelling case for Rihanna knowing what she's doing. This most compelling of pop phenomena still has something new to offer.
  5. Nov 20, 2012
    A fiery pop album that's unfortunately coated in the icky residue of unearned defiance that has marked Brown's recent output.
  6. Nov 20, 2012
    When you're at Rihanna's level you can afford the best songwriters and producers in the business and sonically the album is generally far ahead of her peers. Yet if Sia's Diamonds is a sultry triumph, its character and uniqueness highlights the ultimately hollow pleasures of much around it.
  7. Nov 26, 2012
    In spite of Rihanna's best efforts, Unapologetic is more depressing than offensive.
  8. Nov 28, 2012
    The now-24-year-old's voice may be simple, but it's distinctive--and as defiant as her album titles.
  9. Nov 16, 2012
    For all its musical value, listening to Unapologetic is a pretty depressing experience.
  10. 83
    The album is far less defiant than its title suggests, with just as many lovely moments by the piano as there are dubstep-warped bangers.
  11. 40
    The art speaks to the album's sound: readily appealing, but ultimately, two-dimensional.
  12. Nov 26, 2012
    Sonically, the first half of Unapologetic picks up on the syrupy Southern hip-hop minimalism popular last summer, while much of the latter half is a grab bag of unwieldy balladry.
  13. Nov 19, 2012
    While compelling on its own terms, Rihanna never seems to figure out that being Unapologetic isn't the same thing as picking fights on the dance floor.
  14. Nov 20, 2012
    The mixture of emotions across Unapologetic just doesn't sit right.
  15. Nov 20, 2012
    Even the club bangers ("Phresh Out the Runway" and "Numb," featuring Eminem) are heavy with bass that rumbles more in your chest instead of rattling your feet. Ballads work well for Rihanna, and this album has two of her finest.
  16. Nov 20, 2012
    The music is just as brutish and bruised; occasionally Rihanna shows up essentially unaccompanied, but most of her songs are built tough and layered. The songs that are the least texturally confrontational are also by far the least successful.
  17. Nov 20, 2012
    While the new Rihanna record may be at times sonically exciting, what resides beneath the new bass-heavy, Skrillex-inspired music is still a fast-food burger, one with a lot of extra sauce and some very disturbing ingredients.
  18. Like most of Unapologetic, it's ["Nobody's Business" is] instantly forgettable.
  19. Nov 26, 2012
    Her seventh album in seven years is all filthy lyrics and crashing dubstep drops: R&B-pop turned up to 11.
  20. Nov 19, 2012
    Unapologetic is Rihanna's most confident, emotionally resonant work since 2009's "Rated R.
  21. Nov 26, 2012
    Even when Unapologetic fails, it often does so in interesting ways.
  22. Nov 19, 2012
    Talk about a mixed message. Even Rihanna sounds confused.
  23. Nov 26, 2012
    The album itself morphs from Dubstep, to R&B, to ballads, EDM, to Pop-Reggae--and that is its biggest achilles heel. It isn't something that other jumping-genre albums couldn't get over if it weren't for the the fact that it suffers from a serious sequence problem.
  24. Nov 21, 2012
    Unapologetic is by no means a bad album, it'd be nearly impossible to combine the music industry's best songwriters, producers and Rihanna's charismatic delivery and not create quality music, but as an album Unapologetic has no real core, no real theme; unless you count "making hits" as a theme.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 354 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 109
  2. Negative: 24 out of 109
  1. Nov 19, 2012
    An album wonderful, with different rhythms and genres, for all tastes, rihanna risked, innovated and was perfect! with deep lyrics and vocally evolved, I deserved my note 10 to this wonderful singer Rihanna! Full Review »
  2. Nov 19, 2012
    Too many people are basing this album off of Rihanna's history and situation. This is an amazing album and I'm not saying that because I like her as an artist but because she really gave her all on this album and it shows. She is one of the few rare artists that can create an album with so many sounds and still sound genuine. On this album, she has pop-rock (What Now), torch (Stay), reggae (No Love Allowed), Hip-hop (Phresh Out the Runway), R&B (Jump),80's rock (Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary), disco (Nobodies Business), and even a little bit of jazz (Get It Over With). The problem is too many people are basing this album solely off of the one song with Chris Brown which I think is pretty decent. If this album was by any other artist, there would be no hesitations to call this album of the year. I don't get it. When her voice is weak, they say she needs more power. When she's too innocent, they say she needs an edge. When she sings about sex all the time, she sings more about love. When they say she can't perform live, she blows them away. Now that she's proven how great of artist, people want to point out little petty things like how she doesn't write her own lyrics or her duet with Chris Brown. Not everyone can write their own lyrics and Rihanna is showing that she is a SINGER. And her duet with Chris Brown was spot on, that is NOBODIES BUSINESS but their own. Leave her life out of it ad just enjoy the music for what it is. At the end of the day, I'm glad she is Unapologetic about being herself because God knows people will judge her regardless so even trying to remotely care will only leave her in misery. Full Review »
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    By far her worst album. Only a few good songs on it like the duet with chris brown and David guetta, the rest are dire!
    Stop Rihanna and come
    back in a few years time. Full Review »