The year 2005 was a busy one to say the least. Indeed, Amerie was ruling the airwaves with her ’1 Thing’, the Pussycat Dolls released the now-classic ‘Don’t Cha’ and Bow Wow served up one of the biggest hit of his career in ‘Let Me Hold You’
Still, in retrospect, that year’s biggest “contribution” was the launch of TGJ favorite, Rihanna! Alas, this week’s From The Vault is dedicated to the model’s debut single, ‘Pon De Replay’.
The infectious Dancehall/R&B/Pop fusion was produced by Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers and served as Rih’s lucky first strike. For, the cut reached the second position on both the American and British charts and peaked inside the Top 20 of every country it was released in.
‘Replay’s club-themed visual was a music channel regular and arguably showcases the upper echelon of Ms. Fenty’s limited showmanship (see: “come run run run run”).
Dismissed as a one-hit wonder, few at that time would have deemed the stunner as one who’d go on to be one the biggest artists on the planet. A fact which re-affirms that, with the right backing, any-and-everything is possible. For, as much as we can appreciate the track, it doesn’t scream “Superstar Alert”, nor does the “singer” in the video.
After experimenting with her image and sound a plenty with varying results (see: rock chick, femme fatale, dance queen…), Team Rih have finally realized that what makes their “product” so palatable is its Island-bravado. Hence, there’s no coincidence that theres been a reversion to cooking up songs in the vein of ‘Replay’, and in doing so they’ve scored some of their biggest hits (see: ‘Rude Boy’, ‘What’s My Name’).
For all her vocal crimes, Rihanna remains a compelling concept as both a “brand” and “musical movement”. So much so that even when the going is tough (see: ‘Rated R’), all that was needed to remedy the predicament, was a referral to this her “genesis” for the map forward. As the saying goeth, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it”? Of course, her voice is an entirely different story.
Randomness: Are we the only one side-eyeing the fact that this specific track has been relegated to a mere video interlude while on tour? It would have been ‘interesting’ to witness its evolution through the years. You know, kinda like Beyonce and ‘Crazy In Love’.