Chris Brown only shows up once on Rihanna's seventh LP, during the defiant "Nobody's Business." But the abusive ex she took back is like a co-writer throughout, sort of the way Germany was a co-writer on World War II: "I was flying till you knocked me to the floor," she sings on "No Love Allowed." Unapologetic's stark, shadowy R&B is confrontationally honest and sung within an inch of its life, whether she's turning a strip-club anthem into a declaration of independence ("Pour It Out") or pleading at the piano ("Stay"). When she sings, "I'm prepared to die in the moment," on "Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary," a clichéd line pulses with real terror and impossible resolve.
Listen to 'Unapologetic'