Rihanna’s “FourFiveSeconds (feat. Kanye West & Paul McCartney)”: Review Revue

Bradley Stern | January 26, 2015 6:22 am
Rihanna Drops "FourFiveSeconds": Listen
Rihanna has offered a taste of what her new album will sound like, alongside Kanye and Paul McCartney.

The Navy has been eagerly anticipating Rihanna‘s R8, her follow-up to Unapologetic, for over two years now. (That’s an eternity in RiRi time.) But did anyone see it coming that her first single would drop on a Saturday evening — or that it would be a folky acoustic jam session with Kanye West and Paul McCartney?!

Indeed, Rih’s seriously thrown us all for a loop with her unexpected new song, “FourFiveSeconds,” a sparse, guitar-led production that puts her raw vocals at the forefront alongside Yeezus and the Beatles legend himself. Almost 48 hours later, The Internet has had some time to properly react to Rihanna’s new music. Are critics here for Rihanna’s drastically different new sound, or are they coming up short with phucks to give?

Find out what the world’s been saying about Rih’s new song after the jump.

:: Slant felt that the song did not do justice for Rihanna’s voice: ” The ‘Loveeeeeee Song’ singer has often thrived outside of her usual dance-pop pigeonhole, particularly on reggae-tinged tracks like ‘Man Down’ and understated ballads like ‘Stay,’ but the stripped-down format of ‘FourFiveSeconds’ only serves to highlight her vocal shortcomings.”

:: The New York Daily News, however, found Rihanna’s unprocessed vocals to be “refreshing”: “The Rihanna-fronted single has a lot more melodic ease and appeal than Kanye’s mewling cut [“Only One”]. It’s a catchy pop ditty, featuring an earnest and loose vocal from the star.”

:: PopJustice went through a conflicted good and bad news back-and-forth about the song: “GOOD NEWS! Still – NEW RIHANNA! BAD NEWS! It sounds like Track 9 on a Pink album.”

:: The Source tempered everyone’s expectations in advance about the song’s production: “Much like Kanye and McCartney’s first collaboration, ‘Only One,’ you’ll be waiting a long time to hear a beat drop, because there isn’t one.”

:: Entertainment Weekly also compared the song to the Kanye-McCartney tune: ” While ‘FourFiveSeconds’ isn’t nearly the tearjerker ‘Only One’ is, it does have the same raw feel elevated by Rihanna and West’s musical back-and-forth and McCartney’s gentle strumming.”

:: While Noisey made only one simple critical assessment: “Sounds like sunshine.”

What do you think about the song? Let us know in the comments below.