Loud is the fifth studio album by Rihanna, first released on
November 12, 2010, by Def Jam Recordings. The album was recorded
between February and August 2010, predominantly during Rihanna's
Last Girl on Earth Tour and filming for her first feature film
Battleship (2012). Rihanna was executive producer on the album
and worked with several record producers, including StarGate,
The Runners, Polow da Don, Tricky Stewart, and Alex da Kid, among
others. The album featured several guest vocalists, including
Drake, Nicki Minaj and Eminem, who is featured on the sequel to
"Love the Way You Lie", "Love the Way You Lie (Part
II)", where Rihanna sang lead vocals. Britney Spears appears
on the remix of the single version of "S&M" , although
she is not on the album version.
The album produced seven singles, including the international
hits "Only Girl (In the World)", "What's My Name?",
and "S&M". All three singles reached number one
on the US Billboard Hot 100. "S&M" was Rihanna's
tenth US number one song, making Rihanna the youngest recording
artist to accumulate ten number one songs in the shortest time,
surpassing Mariah Carey's record. In the United Kingdom "Only
Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?" peaked
at number one, whilst "S&M" peaked at number three.
"Only Girl (In the World)" won the Grammy Award for
Best Dance Recording in February 2011. To support the album, Rihanna
embarked on her third worldwide concert tour, entitled the Loud
Tour. On November 30th 2011, the album was nominated for three
Grammy Awards including Album of the Year.
The album differed from Rihanna's previous release, Rated R (2009),
which featured a prominently foreboding and angry tone with dark
themes and incorporated elements of hip hop, rock, and dubstep
music genres. Loud features up-tempo and pop genres, ranging from
dance-pop to electro-R&B, and marked her return to her dancehall
roots, which was prominent on her earlier albums Music of the
Sun (2005) and A Girl like Me (2006). The album also incorporates
rock in "California King Bed" and reggae in the Caribbean
inspired "Man Down".
Loud received generally positive reviews from music critics,
who complimented its upbeat material and Rihanna's vocal performances,
with some critics calling it "brilliantly sassy and exuberant
at times" and praised "the subtle West Indian flavor."
However, some critics found the album to be "slapdash"
and "an unfocused assortment of poor-to-solid songs than
a unified set." The album debuted at number three on the
US Billboard 200 chart, with first week sales of 207,000 copies,
the highest first week sales of her career to date. The album
debuted at number one on the Canadian and Swiss Albums Chart.
In the United Kingdom, the album reached number one on the UK
Albums Chart and was the fourth best-selling album of 2010, although
it was released at the end of November that year. Loud was a commercial
success internationally, and peaked at number one in Canada, Ireland,
Japan, Norway, Scotland and Switzerland, and reached the Top 5
Australia, Denmark, France and Germany
"I can't believe it's the fifth album already,that's
insane to think about. ... I've never been this excited about
anything I've done creatively, and this is just the perfect Rihanna
album: Every song is tailored to me."
"I wanted songs that were all Rihanna songs,
that nobody else could do. I didn't want the generic pop record
that Ke$ha or Lady Gaga or Katy Perry could just do and it'll
work. I wanted a song, or songs, that were Rihanna songs, that
only I could do, had that little West Indian vibe to it, had that
certain tone, a certain sass and a certain energy."
Loud debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, with
first-week sales of 207,000 copies in the United States, giving
Rihanna her highest first-week sales in the US. It also debuted
at number one on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
By July 3, 2011, Loud was the 11th best-selling album of 2011
in the United States, selling 598,000 copies between January 1,
2011 and July 3, 2011. As of November 27, 2011, the album had
sold 1,547,300 copies in the United States. On January 25, 2011,
Loud was certified Platinum in the United States, denoting sales
of over one million. Loud ranked as Billboard magazine's ninth
most successful album of 2011 on their Year-End charts.
Loud has sold over 6 million copies worldwide since its release.
"S&M" was remixed by several notable DJs. One remix
features guest vocals by Britney Spears, which was released digitally
on April 11, 2011."S&M" reached the top ten in twenty-four
countries, reaching number one in Australia, Canada and on the
US Hot 100 chart "S&M" became Rihanna's tenth number
one song on the chart, making her the youngest recording artist
to have accumulated ten number one songs in the shortest amount
of time, surpassing Mariah Carey's record.
Rihanna released 6 videos during the Loud era: Only Girl (In
The World), What's My Name, S&M, California King Bed, Man
Down, Cheers (Drink To That).
To further promote Loud, Rihanna embarked on her fourth concert
tour, the Loud Tour, in June 2011, having announced it on February
9, 2011. The tour comprised 101 show dates, 32 in North America,
1 in Central America, 4 in South America and 64 in Europe. Tickets
sold well in the United Kingdom and some additional shows were
added. She performed ten shows at London's O2 Arena. Originally,
J. Cole and Cee Lo Green were planned as support acts for the
North American leg. However, Green left the tour citing schedule
conflicts. Rappers Drake, Kanye West and Jay-Z made guest appearances
on some dates to perform their collaborations "What's My
Name?", "Run This Town", "All of the Lights"
and "Umbrella", respectively. The tour was received
positively by critics, with some calling it "Rihanna's best
tour yet". Jane Stevenson of the Toronto Sun commented that
"the two-hour, larger-than-life show lived up to the billing."
Jon Brean of the Minneapolis "Star Tribune" remarked,
"The Barbadian singer is more visually and vocally dynamic
than she has ever been before."
The last three shows in London were recorded and will be released
as a DVD later this year.
- 4:04 Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm,
Ester Dean, Stargate, Sandy Vee