Those who have only just fully digested Rihanna's latest album Talk That Talk may be as exhausted as they are excited that she is releasing a new album next week.
The forthcoming studio set, titled Unapologetic, marks the star's seventh studio album in eight years; it's a rare and impressive feat by today's music industry standards.
To celebrate and take stock, we've looked back over her previous six albums, in order of our least to most favourite. After all, it wouldn't feel right if there wasn't a little controversy involved, right?
Released: August 29, 2005
Singles: 'Pon De Replay', 'You Don't Love Me (No No No)'
Chart peak: UK: No. 35, US: No. 10
Producers: Carl Sturken, Evan Rodgers, Stargate, Spanador, Vada Nobles, Full Force, Poke & Tone, D. "Supa Dups" Chin-quee
Unsurprisingly, Rihanna's debut is her most mellow offering, but its Caribbean charm still glows seven years later. 'Pon De Replay' remains a chest-thumping party anthem with its infectious clap beats and her unusual (at the time) Bajan tones. However, follow-up cut 'If It's Lovin' You Want' failed to give her a second hit, despite its colourful dancehall beats and island-flecked guitars.
'You Don't Love Me (No No No)' with Vybz Kartel offers a slice of cool reggae, with Rihanna allowed to croon over beach-soaked riffs. 'That La, La, La' and 'Rush' allowed her to showcase her potential as pop's newest talent over dutty wine rhythms. It may be Rihanna's weakest collection, but it proves that even the biggest of careers can start from humble beginnings. LC
Best track: 'Pon De Replay'
The single that never was: 'That La, La, La'
Listen to Music of the Sun below:
Released: April 24, 2006
Singles: 'SOS', 'Unfaithful', 'We Ride', 'Break It Off'
Chart peak: UK: No. 5, US: No. 5
Producers: Stargate, JR Rotem, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, Trackmasters, Mike City
Riri hastily followed up the lukewarm reception to her debut just eight months later with A Girl Like Me. A more elite team of producers was brought in, one of which was JR Rotem, who helmed its lead single 'SOS'. It was a move that paid off, not only marking her first US number one and second UK number two hit, but its electro dance-pop sound and 'Tainted Love' sample was a fresh concept to the charts.
The set also delivered 'Unfaithful', which remains one of her staple ballads on tour to this day. Penned by Ne-Yo, the track was to be the first of several collaborations from the two. Elsewhere, the LP retains much of the same Bajan flavour as her debut (its back-end shares the same producer), especially on 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'Selfish Girl'; but the crucial difference here was that the material was much, much stronger and pointed to a promising future. RC
Best track: 'We Ride'
The single that never was: 'Kisses Don't Lie'
Listen to A Girl Like Me below:
Released: November 21, 2011
Singles: 'We Found Love', 'You Da One', 'Talk That Talk', 'Where Have You Been', 'Cockiness (Love It)'
Chart peak: UK: No. 1, US: No. 3
Producers: Alex da Kid, Mr Bangladesh, Calvin Harris, Carl Stuken, Chase & Status, Dr Luke, Ester Dean, Stargate, The-Dream
After Rihanna smacked us all in the face with the unexpected brilliance of 'We Found Love', expectations for her sixth studio set were unattainably high. Although her Calvin Harris bounce-off was Talk That Talk's obvious stand-out track, there were other gems to be found on her raunchiest outing yet.
'Cockiness' titillated with its filthy innuendos and even filthier beats, while 'Birthday Cake' rolled around in its own orgy of fuzzes and groans, before it became a controversial remix just a few months later. However, it was on more subtle cuts 'Drunk On Love' and 'Fool In Love' where Riri's voice and vulnerability stole the show and became the album's true highlights. LC
Best track: 'We Found Love'
The single that never was: 'Drunk On Love'
Listen to Talk That Talk below:
Rihanna releases Unapologetic on November 19. Come back on Friday to find out where we ranked her final three albums.