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Rihanna’s return to music

<p>After a six year break, Rihanna has released new music, though it&#x27;s received a somewhat mixed reaction.</p>

After a six year break, Rihanna has released new music, though it's received a somewhat mixed reaction.

Calling all RiRi fans, don’t stop the music!

On Oct. 26, Rihanna announced that she would release her first single in six years. The long awaited single, which was released Oct. 28, comes in anticipation of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which was released on Nov. 11. This Rihanna song will be featured in the new Marvel film.

Considering Rihanna has been absent from music for six years, I thought her comeback would be more interesting than a single for a movie soundtrack. 

And to make matters worse, the new track is nothing like Rihanna’s early-2000’s classics, such as “Umbrella” and “Disturbia.”

The new single is titled, “Lift Me Up,” and although Rihanna’s vocals were amazing as always, it lacked the pop-style of music that made all her previous songs instant hits. The song is slow and includes the soft strumming of a guitar behind Rihanna’s vocals.

Following the death of the lead actor in “Black Panther,” Chadwick Boseman, I don’t expect the sequel to follow a particularly happy plot. This leads me to assume the song follows the theme of the movie, although the main chorus is rather uplifting with the words “Lift me Up.” 

This also isn’t the first single Rihanna has released for a movie soundtrack.

In 2015, the singer released “Dancing in the Dark,” “Towards The Sun”  and “As Real as You and Me” for the Dreamworks animated film “Home in which she voiced one of the main characters. She also wrote the song “Sledgehammer” with Sia and Jesse Shatkin for “Star Trek Beyond” in 2016. 

As much as I love anything Rihanna produces, I’d really like for her to release a new single not attached to a movie. 

Oftentimes when an artist takes a break from music, their return is grand and full of surprises. Taylor Swift returned from the dead to release “Look What You Made Me Do” after her public feud with Kim Kardashian and Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) in 2016. Swift made it clear she was entering a new era, using many references to death and even including herself in a coffin in the single’s music video.

Compared to this, Rihanna’s return was mild and lacking excitement. 

Earlier this year, Rihanna was announced as the headliner for the Super Bowl halftime show. Many fans hoped this meant the singer would release new music, and hopefully even an album, but with the Super Bowl only a few months away, things are not looking great. 

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This new single only makes me wonder what Rihanna’s new music will look like when it is finally released. Will it follow in the same style of this song? Or was this slow tune solely for the purpose of the “Black Panther” sequel? 

mcdowekr@miamioh.edu

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