Good Girl Gone Bad is Rihanna's third studio album that was released on May 31, 2007 by Def Jam Recordings.
- Umbrella (featuring Jay-Z) 4:35
- Push Up On Me 3:15
- Don't Stop The Music 4:27
- Breakin' Dishes 3:20
- Shut Up And Drive 3:33
- Hate That I Love You (featuring Ne-Yo) 3:39
- Say It 4:10
- Sell Me Candy 2:45
- Lemme Get That 3:41
- Rehab 4:54
- Question Existing 4:08
- Good Girl Gone Bad 3:39
In early 2007, Rihanna began work on her third studio album.
In an interview with MTV News, she announced that "the new music is going in a different direction. Not on purpose, but I just want to hear something fresh and mostly uptempo. I think that's where I want to go on this one. You feel different every album, and [at] this stage I feel like I want to do a lot of uptempo [songs]."
During that same year, Rihanna dismissed her innocent image for an edgier look with a new hairstyle, which was inspired by actress Charlize Theron's bob cut in the 2005 science fiction thriller "Æon Flux."
Rihanna explained that she wanted to keep the audience dancing and be soulful at the same time. She sought to make an album that people would listen to without skipping tracks and cited Brandy's album "Afrodisiac" as her main inspiration for the album.
In May 2007, Rihanna revealed that she called the album "Good Girl Gone Bad" because it represents her bolder and more independent image, saying: "I'm not the innocent Rihanna anymore. I'm taking a lot more risks and chances. I felt when I cut my hair, it shows people I'm not trying to look or be anybody else. The album is very edgy."
Recording & ProductionEdit
"Good Girl Gone Bad" was recorded in Westlake Recording Studios and Conway Studios in Los Angeles, Battery Studios and Roc the Mic Studios in New York City, Chicago Recording Company and Pressure Studios in Chicago, Phase One Audio Group in Toronto, Lethal Studios in Bridgetown, Barbados, Espionage Studios in Oslo and Parr Street Studios in Liverpool.
Rihanna spent the week of the 2007 Grammy Awards working with American R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, who gave her vocal lessons. They wrote and sang "Hate That I Love You", which was co-written and produced by Norwegian duo StarGate.
Ne-Yo told Vibe magazine, "The best way to express an emotion like love is through storytelling. It makes it more 'I can relate to this character in this song, because I've been through something similar.' You hear that kind of storytelling in the song that I wrote for Rihanna called 'Hate That I Love You'."
American producers Tricky Stewart and Dream had written the track "Umbrella" in 2007 with pop singer Britney Spears in mind. Her label rejected the song before she could hear it, stating they had enough songs for her to record; at the time, Spears was working on her fifth studio album, "Blackout."
The producers then reached out to Mary J. Blige, who did not have time to consider the song for her next album.
Finally, L.A. Reid, then-CEO of Def Jam Recordings, bought the record and forwarded it to Rihanna.
Initially, Stewart was unsure whether Rihanna was the right artist for the song, but after they had recorded the "ella, ella" catch phrase for the track, he felt optimistic.
Rapper Jay Z added rap vocals. Stewart also co-wrote and produced "Breakin' Dishes" with Nash.
The tracks "Rehab", "Sell Me Candy", and "Lemme Get That" were composed and produced by Timbaland for the album.
He was on the FutureSex/LoveShow concert tour with Justin Timberlake to promote Timberlake's 2006 album, "FutureSex/LoveSounds".
After a show in Chicago, they joined Rihanna in the studio, where Timberlake experimented with beats and melodies.
Weeks later, the three met in New York City, where Timberlake had conceptualized a song for Rihanna. Timbaland, who penned a song for Rihanna under the title "Rehab", was producing a beat, over which Timberlake improvised his lyrics. Hannon Lane also co-wrote and co-produced the song.
Timberlake told Entertainment Weekly that he believed "Rehab" to be "the bridge for [Rihanna] to be accepted as an adult in the music industry".
Rihanna told Robert Copsey of Digital Spy that she enjoyed working with Timberlake, and learned much from the sessions.
Described as a dance-pop and pop/R&B album influenced by 1980s music, "Good Girl Gone Bad" is a departure from the Caribbean sound of Rihanna's previous two albums.
Lyrically, the album is close to some teen pop records, "where sexual-ism and consumerism supersede personal connection."
The album opens with the lead single "Umbrella", an R&B song performed with drums and thundercloud synths. Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian compared Rihanna's vocals to the voices of Ciara and Cassie.
The second track, "Push Up On Me", features echo electro claps and surging synths.
"Don't Stop the Music" is a dance-pop and techno song that contains rhythmic devices used mainly in hip hop music.
The song samples the line "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" from Michael Jackson's 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".
The fourth song is "Breakin' Dishes"; Peter Robinson of The Observer called it a "wronged-woman bonanza, packed with hooks, chants and flashes of lyrical brilliance."
"Shut Up and Drive" is a new wave & pop rock song, influenced by 1970s and 1980s musical styles, sampling New Order's 1983 song "Blue Monday".
The collaboration with Ne-Yo, "Hate That I Love You", is a folky R&B song; Nick Levine of Digital Spy compared it to Ne-Yo's singles "Sexy Love" and "Because of You."
The seventh track on the album, "Say It", samples the 1990s song "Flex" by Mad Cobra; it consists of silky and warm groove and features island-oriented music characteristics.
"Sell Me Candy" features jumbled and noisy production with chaotic beats. The ninth song, "Lemme Get That", has boom-bap beats and is produced by Timbaland.
"Rehab" is an old-styled R&B track with a groove that is built around tambourine shakes, acoustic guitar swirls and a subtle backbeat.
Doug Rule of Metro Weekly noted similarities among the structures of "Rehab" and Timberlake's 2002 single "Cry Me a River".
"Question Existing" is an "eerie, smoky, destitute, emotional, and a sonic sidestep." Tom Breihan of Pitchfork Media described the opening lyrics of the song as inspired by "puerile psuedoporn".
The album concludes with the title track "Good Girl Gone Bad", which is played with an acoustic guitar and click tracks.
In the United States, "Good Girl Gone" Bad debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 162,000 copies in its first week.
It became Rihanna's then-best start album entry. However, the next week, it fell to #6 with 81,000 copies sold.
The re-issue of the album sold 63,000 copies in the first week and helped Good Girl Gone Bad jump from #124 to #7 on the Billboard 200 in its 55th week.
The album was certified six-time platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
By November 2013, both "Good Girl Gone Bad" and the reissue had sold 2,800,000 copies in the United States alone. To date, it is her best-selling album in the country and has sold 9 million copies worldwide.
"Good Girl Gone Bad" received generally favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 72 based on 17 reviews.
Uncut called it a "shiny, trans-atlantic blend of Europop vim, R&B grit and Caribbean bounce." Andy Kellman of AllMusic deemed it quintessential pop music and said each of its tracks was a potential hit.
Quentin B. Huff of PopMatters praised the album, describing it as "more raw, perhaps edgier and more risqué" than Rihanna's previous material.
Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times wrote that the album "sounds as if it were scientifically engineered to deliver hits".
Peter Robinson of The Observer commended her collaborators for "masking her own shortcomings" and commented that, "While Rihanna lacks her peers' charisma, she's a great vessel for exhilarating mainstream pop."
Pitchfork Media's Tom Breihan found the album varied and satisfying.
Neil Drumming of Entertainment Weekly felt that, although it "goes bad when Rihanna tries her hand at treacly ballads and glum sentiment", at times Good Girl Gone Bad is a "thrilling throwback to more than a decade ago, when upstart producers haphazardly mashed R&B with hip-hop to create chunky jeep anthems such as Mary J. Blige's 'Real Love'."
In a mixed review, Rodney Dugue of The Village Voice felt that the album "never settles on a sound" and only cited its three Timbaland-produced songs as highlights.
Although he found the ballads to be improvements from Rihanna's previous albums, Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani criticized the lyrics, particularly those written by Justin Timberlake, as an "Achilles' high heel for Rihanna".
Alex Macpherson of The Guardian found Rihanna to be "ill-suited" for its dance-pop songs and stated, "The gimmicky samples and pounding beats bury her personality, and the summery reggae of her first two albums is sorely missed."
Robert Christgau of MSN Music cited "Umbrella" as a "choice cut," indicating "a good song on an album that isn't worth your time or money."