What's Weird is that I like Rihanna. I've been down since her Pon de Replay days. If It's Loving That You Want was my summer anthem right after high school. My first year of college, I was feeling Unfaithful and We Ride like I was the sideline ho in question. Back then Rihanna was an upcoming artist and experiencing inconsistent spurts of success. Fast forward to 2008, and this chick is dangerously close to attaining pop music relevancy. Come again!?
Rihanna is fly, yes. I'm not one of those listeners who believe that every pop star has to be a vocal power house to be a respectable artist. Talent does not rest solely in a five-octave range, in my opinion at least. That being said, Rihanna is not talented, and this AMA performance proves that, hands down.
Perhaps it's because the announcer introduced her as having had "the most #1 singles of any female artist this millennium," paired with the fact that she managed to beat out real artists (MJB, Alicia Keys) for awards in two categories is what has me so upset. A fucking sequined eye patch and fly haircut does not a performance make. Nor should it a career make.
Rihanna is all image, and no substance. I have yet to see a performance where she exercises any little bit of stage presence, or vocal tact. Her VMA performance of Disurbia earlier this year was embarrassingly un-listenable, and even worse than that was the fact that she turned what could have been an interesting set into one of the lamest routines of the night. The same can be said for her performance of Rehab at the AMAs. Those vocals runs that she attempts toward the end of the song are terrible, and the fact that she had the nerve to crouch toward the ground in a fit of pseudo-emotion only adds insult to injury.
As I've said, not every female artist needs to be the next Mariah, but what Rihanna lacks in vocals she doesn't even try to make-up for in presentation. Chick will not dance, at all. The fact that she has a handheld mic and live band at most performances baffles me. Yes, live vocals and instrumentation would be impressive from most any other artist, but in this case, I'll pass. With Rihanna, I want pre-recorded, lip-synch ready, heavily choreographed, shamelessly over-the-top spectacles; that way I can forget what a waste of time she actually is.
I'll still be listening to Take a Bow, Rehab, and most of the rest of Rihanna's pre-maturely extensive catalogue, because the songs are good. Still, I'll keep wishing someone else was singing them. Think of the swagger Monica could've added to Take A Bow...
I will say, Umbrella was all her own. Chick killed it.