2005 Rihanna started her career with her first album “Music Of the Sun” with her first single “Pon De Replay” going into the top 10. This was her first top five single – with it becoming number 2 in the UK and USA and becoming no. 1 in 3 countries. The image of Rihanna here is R and B and the song "Pon de Replay" musically, is a pop song which contain R&B beats.
Rihanna at this time was very simple and natural. Her hair and make up were usually simple in videos and album covers they had a natural effect to them. She also used to wears casual clothes adding to the simple and natural look she portrayed which made her look and seem like a ‘normal’ person.
2006 Rihanna released her second album in 2006 called “A Girl Like Me” which contained her hits “SOS” (which was Rihanna’s first number 1) and also “Unfaithful”. Rihanna carried on with her R&B image with this album and her music was marketed with reggae genres as well because of her Caribbean background.
The album cover makes Rihanna look innocent. This is done by the close up of her face looking straight into the camera but mainly with her gripping onto her sleeve as it makes her look insecure. Her make up and hair looks natural which also adds to her innocence for example with the way her hair falls making it not look placed /styled . The back cover shows that Rihanna is having fun and is free as she is dancing. The long shot shows this as she is playing with the dress making it flow just like her hair is flowingadding to the freedom look as we see the movement.
2007 In 2007 Rihanna brought out her third album “Good Girl Gone Bad”. With this album Rihanna had re-imagined her album musically containing more up-tempo dance tracks . This album featured a more dance-pop musicinstead of the dancehall, reggae and ballad styles compared to her previous work. The album contained four hits all reaching the top twenty– including the worldwide number-one hit "Umbrella," featuring Jay-Z and other songs such as "Shut Up and Drive", "Don't Stop The Music" and "Hate That I Love You” .
With this album Rihanna also changed her image dying her hair black and cutting It short. This gave her more of an edge and her dress sense also started to become more fashion forward. The album name itself showed that there was a new rebellious Rihanna. The videos also started to have more edge to them compared to her previous work.
2008 The hits carried on with the re-issue of Rihanna’s third album, Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded. This album included “Take A bow”, “Disturbia” and "If I Never See Your Face Again” with Maroon 5. There were mix reviews about this album and the original with The guardian saying “the summery reggae of her first two albums is sorely missed.” However another review said: “An album of class, depth and seriously hard grinding, it's a major transformation from pretty girl with potential to star turn.”
2009 Rated R, was released in November 2009 making it Rihanna’s forth album. Rolling Stone liked this album and said – “Rihanna has transformed her sound and made one of the best pop records of the year .” The singles on this album included "Russian Roulette", "Hard" and "Rude Boy“ which reached number-one. This album also contained singles “Wait Your Turn”, “Rockstar” and “Te amo”. Rated R was a moredark and angry tone when it came down to both musical and lyrical. It was however mainly an R&B and pop-oriented album, but also contained elements of hip hop and rock.
The album covergives a different side to Rihanna. With it being black and white we can tell by just looking at the cover that it may involve more of a darker and rocky music. We can also tell it might involve rock as she is wearing what looks like leather, but also her heavy eye make up and hair also adds to the image. With her hand over her eye also makes it more unusual and make her seem mysterious but it shows her accessories which also adds to the rock theme as they have an edge. Even the back has black running through it and her pose makes her look mysterious and strong. With this album cover she doesn’t have her name on the from cover but instead the letter R in a rock and dangerous font.
With this album Rihanna’s look was more rocky. Her video’s became more dark and she started to wear heavy makeup plus her hair was more edgy than ever with parts of it becoming blonde and shaven . Rihanna also started to have tattoos . Her fashion on stage also had elements of rock as they were very strong which showed that Rihanna was stronger than ever.
2010 Her recent album is called ‘loud’. This album so far has featured hits such as ‘Only girl in the world’, which reached no.1 in more than ten countries and ‘What’s my name’ , ‘S&M’, ‘California King bed’ and ‘Man down’. With this album Rihanna returned to the dance hall influence sounds just like her 2006 album – ‘ A girl like me’ . This album also includes more dance pop and up tempo songs . Rihanna said that she was not going back but developing her sounds. She said that this album is ‘her’ – flirty , loud and energetic. The BBC said “ Loud certainly lives up to the singer’s promise however lyrics sometimes seem forced.”
Whilst recording this album Rihanna changed her appearance to totally the opposite compared to her previous album. She died her hair red which made her look soft but also adding that edge again. She also changed her fashion sense and in a way is becoming known for her hair changes and becoming a fashion icon with girls wishing they could be her and have her hair.
This cover is defiantly more colourful compared to her previous album cover. Even though Rihanna is not giving eye contact she still looks strong but it also makes her look innocent in a way. The colourfulness continues with Rihanna wearing red lipstick which matches her hair. The front cover does not even say Rihanna or have her logo because she has become so powerful and her face has become so recognisable that it doesn’t need it. The back cover pose makes Rihanna look shy because of the pose but still strong because of her hair, tattoo showing and what she is wearing. She also looks simple at the same time in both front and back because of the natural make up and her pose.
Website The website always matches the album cover. For example when Rihanna’s latest album was Rated R then there was a lot of black and white. The design also included barbed wire. The website for the latest loud album is mainly pink adding to the soft look Rihanna now shows. It also includes her logo from rated r but also made pink to add a soft look to it. The whole website has the same house style throughout and allows people to listen to music, watch videos and what’s new with Rihanna.