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Review: Rihanna brings the goods on 7th album

The Associated Press, Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 8:09am (PST)

Rihanna, "Unapologetic" (Island Def Jam Music Group)

There's something about Rihanna. And her producers.

The singer's new album — her seventh in seven years — is like many of her other releases, full of songs that are catchy, fun and addictive. Her albums are almost like listening to a "NOW" compilation disc.

"Unapologetic" is no different. It's full of future hits, and not a single miss.

"Phresh Out the Runaway," which kicks off the album, does so with a bang. And there are more: "Pour It Up," which has Rihanna sounding like a female version of The-Dream, is appealing; "Jump" samples Ginuwine's "Pony" — and it's surprisingly good; and the David Guetta-helmed "Right Now" is European-flavored and upbeat.

Even Rihanna's duet with her ex Chris Brown on "Nobody's Business," which samples Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," will make you move your feet. Lyrically though, the song is somewhat dismissive. "Ain't nobody's business," she sings. OK, then stop tweeting one another.

When Rihanna slows it down, she's still on point: Her duet with singer Mikky Ekko on the piano-tune "Stay" is touching; the mid-tempo first single, the Sia-penned "Diamonds," is enjoyable; and "What Now" builds nicely from its calming verse to its electrified hook.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "Pour It Up" is the jam.

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Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MusicMesfin

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