September 15, 2005
Rihanna, Music of the Sun
Jam Recordings, 2005
I give — the damn “Pon
De Replay” has won.
Early in the summer the
song by cute-as-a-button Rihanna seemed like just another surfer riding
the dance hall wave. But at some point, July maybe, repetition and the
infectious energy of this dancy little tune got to me.
“Pon De Replay” is
clearly not just Rihanna’s ticket but her best song so far. (Though, at
17, I guess the girl’s got some time.) On the 13-track Music of the Sun
(one of which is a “Pon De Replay” remix), that song stands far above
the rest. “Here I Go Again” and to a lesser degree “If It’s Lovin’ That
You Want” are charming and summery. But songs like “There’s a Thug in My
Life” and “Let Me” seem overproduced and dripping with trying-too-hard.
Take it slow, Rihanna, no need to be Beyonce tomorrow.