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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/0c19830cafca4e765bb22e174ee32d55937afa5a.jpg A Girl Like Me

Rihanna

A Girl Like Me

Universal Distribution
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
May 26, 2006

Hip-hop and mall rock have all but replaced dance pop on American airwaves, but every once in a while a Euro-style club mash-up breaks through. Barbados-born emigre Rihanna's huge dancehall pop hit last year, "Pon De Replay," was savvy and sexy, and her new smash, "SOS," is even more so. Singing a snaky Destiny's Child-like melody around synth riffs and machine beats from Soft Cell's Eighties classic "Tainted Love," Rihanna proves America still appreciates clever pop when it hears it. Like her filler-packed debut album, this similar but superior follow-up doesn't deliver anything else as ingenious as its lead single: Lightweight dancehall and R&B jams lack the single's ear-bending boldness. But the burning rock guitar of "Kisses Don't Lie" and haunted strings of "Unfaithful" help make A Girl Like Me much more likable.

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