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Rihanna Revisited: A look back at her six studio albums (3 - 1)

By and Lewis Corner
Rihanna, 777 tour, El Plaza Condesa, Mexico City, Mexico

© Rex Features / Startraks Photo/Rex Features


To celebrate the release of Rihanna's new album Unapologetic, Digital Spy is looking back over her previous six albums, rating them from least to most favourite.

After covering the bottom three records earlier this week, find out where we placed the final ones below:

3. Loud
Released: November 15, 2010
Singles: 'Only Girl (In the World)', 'What's My Name?', 'S&M', 'California King Bed', 'Man Down', 'Cheers (Drink To That)'
Chart peak: UK: No. 1 US: No. 3
Producers: Rihanna, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, Alex da Kid, The Runners, Stargate, Tricky Stewart, Soundz

Following the dark and moody Rated R, Rihanna took a more light-hearted approach to the aptly-titled Loud. The set's Stargate-helmed lead single 'Only Girl (In The World)' was head and shoulders above the majority of the dance-pop in the charts at the time, while the Drake-assisted follow-up 'What's My Name?' found her rediscovering her Bajan roots, albeit with a stronger hip-hop edge.

The collection is Rihanna's most single-heavy one to date, officially putting out seven tracks - although her collaboration with Nicki Minaj on 'Raining Men' was serviced to radio and 'Love The Way You Lie Pt. II' managed to creep into the singles chart on its own. The LP was considerably less cohesive than its predecessor, but it remains an impressive collection of urban pop songs. RC

Best track: 'What's My Name?'
The single that never was: None, they were all released!

Listen to Loud below:



200x200 Rihanna 'Good Girl Gone Bad'
2. Good Girl Gone Bad
Released: June 4, 2007 (Reloaded: June 2, 2008)
Singles: 'Umbrella', 'Shut Up And Drive', 'Hate That I Love You',
'Don't Stop The Music', 'Take A Bow', 'If I Never See Your Face
Again', 'Disturbia'
Chart peak: UK: No. 1 US: No. 2
Producers: The Carter Administration, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, Hannon Lane, Ne-Yo, Neo Da Matrix, J.R. Rotem, Tricky Stewart, Stargate, Shea Taylor, Timbaland

Even if it did rain for every week it was at number one in the UK, frankly we didn't care because 'Umbrella' is what people call 'a modern classic'. Rihanna was suddenly propelled into fully-fledged popstardom, and although the mega hit is definitely one of her best cuts, Riri's third studio set still had plenty more anthems up its sleeve. Follow-up 'Shut Up And Drive' brought out her inner rock chick, complete with sassy quips and car-skidding sound effects, while 'Don't Stop The Music' was an instant dancefloor classic.

GGGB offered more still; 'Hate That I Love You' is a smooth guitar-led R&B ballad that showed Rihanna's softer side, while 'Breakin' Dishes' is a strutting ode to female empowerment - and confirmed that you won't find Riri slaving over the kitchen sink. What's more, the Reloaded collection also gave us the heart-squeezing 'Take A Bow' and the brilliantly kooky 'Disturbia'. It marked the beginning of the controversial and chart-leading Rihanna that we all know today and remains her best-selling collection to date. LC

Best track: 'Umbrella'
Single that never was: 'Breakin' Dishes'

Listen to Good Girl Gone Bad below:



Rihanna - Rated R
1. Rated R
Released: November 23, 2009
Singles: 'Russian Roulette', 'Rude Boy', 'Te Amo', 'Hard'
Chart peak: UK: No. 9 US: No. 4
Producers: Rihanna, The Carter Administration, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, Chase & Status, The-Dream, Chuck Harmony, Ne-Yo, Stargate, Tricky Stewart, will.i.am, The Y's

After the monumental success of Good Girl Gone Bad secured her position as a global act, Riri got serious on the follow-up. The set marked the beginning of her partnership with dubstep duo Chase & Status, kicking off the trend of adding wobbly basslines into pop. Lead single 'Russian Roulette' was a tense, gun-wielding ballad that many thought was a risky move, but it eventually paid off in spades.

The collection remains her most critically-acclaimed to date, praised for its moody and heartfelt ballads including 'Cold Case Love' and 'Stupid In Love' after a turbulent time in the papers with Chris Brown. That said, it wasn't all doom and gloom; the call-to-arms anthem 'Hard' contains her fans' favourite lyric: "That Rihanna reign just won't let up," while 'Rude Boy' served as one of its more instant hits. It may have taken time to grow on the ears, but as a body of work, it still sounds fresh and exciting a full three years after its release. RC

Best track: 'Hard'
The single that never was: 'Fire Bomb'



Rihanna unapologetic album

© Instagram / Rihanna

Rihanna's new album Unapologetic is available worldwide from November 20.

Which is your favourite Rihanna album? Leave your comments in the box below:

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