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New Reviews: Rihanna Becomes Pop's Bad-Girl-in-Chief on 'Talk That Talk'

Also: Stream new music by the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Yelawolf, Guided by Voices and more

November 22, 2011 11:50 AM ET
New Reviews: Rihanna Becomes Pop's Bad-Girl-in-Chief on 'Talk That Talk'

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jody Rosen declares that Rihanna has become "pop's bad-girl-in-chief" on her latest album, Talk That Talk. The disc, which includes her dirtiest songs ever, is also "her tightest, most assured yet – a relentlessly catchy and danceable pop album." Also, Monica Herrera digs the dark side of Yelawolf's Radioactive, Will Hermes praises Mazzy Star's first single in 15 years and Bryant Kitching hails the evocative sexual frustration on Los Campesinos' Hello Sadness.

ALBUMS

Rihanna - Talk That Talk (stream one song)

R.E.M. - Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage (stream one song)

The Rolling Stones - Some Girls: Deluxe Edition (stream one song)

Mary J. Blige - My Life II...The Journey Continues (Act I) (stream one song)

Yelawolf - Radioactive (stream one song)

Lady Gaga - Born This Way - The Remix (stream one song)

Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness (stream one song)

Angels and Airwaves - Love Part Two (stream one song)

Peggy Sue - Acrobats (stream one song)

Mr. Gnome - Madness in Miniature (stream one song)

Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning (stream one song)

Greg Ginn and the Royal We - We Are Amused (stream one song)

SONGS

Guided by Voices "The Unsinkable Fats Domino" (stream)

Nada Surf "When I Was Young" (stream)

Far East Movement "Jello" (stream)

Mazzy Star "Common Burn" (stream)

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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