Sunday, May 10, 2009

Music Review: Umbrella, by Rihanna



Song: Umbrella
Artist: Rihanna
Album: Good Girl Gone Bad

You may have never thought you'd see Rihanna on my blog, but remember you also didn't think you'd ever see Katy Perry on my blog either. ;-) Calm down, it's ok, this will be my review.

It's been a long time since my last song review, hasn't it? So.... I will admit that I personally love the sound of this song, and as the lyrics provide some reviewable stuff I decided to review this long ago. It just wasn't as easy as you'd think. Long story short, I absolutely love the lyrics, except one word, just one simple word, bothered me. I wasn't sure of the reference, if any, so I decided to track down the official lyrics. Very tough, all fan sites had differing lyrics. So, I got borrowed the CD in person. No lyrics in the booklet there, but it did refer me to what is apparently her official website. And...I got my answer.

Without further ado, the lyrics:


[Jay-Z]
Ahuh Ahuh
Ch'yea, Rihanna
Ahuh Ahuh
Good girl gone bad
Ahuh Ahuh
Take three...action
Ahuh Ahuh
Ho!

No clouds in my storms
Let it rain, I hydroplane in the bank
Coming down with the Dow Jones
When the clouds come we gone, we Rocafellas
She fly higher than weather
And G5's are better, you know me,
An anticipation, for precipitation, stacked chips for the rainy day
Jay, Rain Man is back, with little Miss Sunshine
Rihanna where you at?


[Rihanna]
You have my heart
And we'll never be worlds apart
Maybe in magazines
But you'll still be my star
Baby 'cause in the dark
You can't see shiny cars
And that's when you need me there
With you I'll always share
Because

When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh

These fancy things, will never come in between
You're part of my entity, here for infinity
When the war has took its part
When the world has dealt its cards
If the hand is hard, together we'll mend your heart
Because

When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh

You can run into my arms
It's okay don't be alarmed
Come into me
There's no distance in between our love
So go on and let the rain pour
I'll be all you need and more
Because

When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh
Under my umbrella
Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh

It's rainin', rainin'
Ooh baby it's rainin', rainin'
Baby come into me
Come into me
It's rainin', rainin'
Oh baby it's rainin', rainin'...



I'll mostly be setting aside the little Jay-Z intro for the purposes of this review, as well as the music video (as nasty/raunchy/sexually suggestive/and-then-basically-pornographic as it is). Jay-Z's comment about "good girl gone bad" is a bit of a larger issue, the entire album being named that. Red flag! Also, there are several versions of the song. I will choose to discuss the lyrics mainly and not the different remixes.

My first encounter with this song was fairly amusing. Not knowing what the girl who I would come to call Rihanna (had no idea who she was then) was saying in the song, I decided to think it was "Beretta." I knew that wasn't what she was saying but that's what it sounded like to me. C'mon, "under my own Beretta"? How cool of a song would that be?

To go right to it, I absolutely love the chorus. It exemplifies loyalty, love, and so many good qualities. The chorus rang true with me the first time I figured out what she was actually saying.

When the sun shines, we'll shine together
They can be together and love each other in good times

Told you I'll be here forever/Said I'll always be a friend
A pledge of great loyalty

Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
An affirmation of that pledge, to the very end

Now that it's raining more than ever
Bad times arrive, and it's worse than ever before

Know that we'll still have each other
Rihanna acts out that pledge, tells her man she will stay by him

You can stand under my umbrella
She offers "shelter" for his tired soul

Beautiful, no? No matter how bad things get, no matter how horrific the world becomes, even if things could evolve into a wedge between them, she refuses to do anything but love and support her man. Gorgeous!

This can be translated into a man loving his girl (to which I would love to tweak this song up a bit, add in "Beretta" and thus he would have her "under [his] own Beretta"!), or even into a simple, nonromantic friendship. (Ever had a time when you needed to be there for a friend? Reread the chorus. Very fitting, in my opinion.)

There is little else I can say about the message of this song except I love, love, love it!

But...ha, I'm tired of the "buts" in my review, but alas there is one. As one might expect with hip hop/r&b or even Rihanna herself, there are serious issues with content. No curse words in this one, no drugs, no gang violence, but...we do have a little but, just a little tiny bit, of sexual content.

"Whoa...what?" you might be saying. Did you miss it? Well, I told you about that one little word, and that word is "into". More specifically, it's when she says "Come into me." My little quest to discover the meaning behind this phrase is because you can have it two ways: "Come in to me" or "Come into me". Very different results. With "come in to me" we can possibly have a phrase lacking in sexual content. It still could mean that, but it might also mean something along the lines of "Come to me, you're having a hard time, I am here for you." Now I doubted that Rihanna would be using the biblical sense of the phrase as in "he came in unto her" or something along those lines, so although it may be sexual still, "come in to me" at least can be fairly innocent. "Come into me", however, cannot. It is simply straightforward and, well...it refers to sex. Yes, it does.

I've "x-listed" songs before on account of merely a word (Paramore's Misery Business) and I'm doing it again, right here. Talented though she may be, gifted with her voice (you have to admit, few people can get away with saying "eh eh eh", make it sound good, and sell records at the same time), and even with a song with so much blatant good in it, I still can't give this anything but a negative. So close, yet so far. In the end, even one little word is just too much sex for me. It's what can kill a man.

Spencer

4 comments:

olde.fashioned said...

I caught it when perusing the lyrics you posted, but I briefly wondered if it was just my dirty imagination. Sigh. Why do people have to go and ruin otherwise perfectly good songs???

Rebecca said...

Have you ever heard the acoustic version or the cover by the Plain White T's? I'm not much of a hip-hop fan, so I prefer those.

As for the lyric, I'd always interpreted it in an emotional sense, since that's what the rest of the song is about. A sexual reference seems out of place to me - I think that it's either your first reading ("in to") or describing emotional closeness.

(How would you be under a Beretta? :P)

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Not sure if I've heard those--I personally prefer the Travis Barker remix.

I'd like to think it's emotional, but I remain unconvinced. The "into" was the clincher, IMHO.

Under a Beretta...simple. It's metaphorical. Under a Beretta would mean that you would be under the protection of the Beretta's owner!

Spencer

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