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There are no rules on Tickle Your Taint Blog. Our reviewers might make you laugh, or piss you off; both results are legitimate. One reviewer might write a glowing review of an album another might tear it apart. We may end up adopting a single review system, such as five stars, or each reviewer may use his own or none at all. We may have a new review every week or we could end up with one every six months. This blog exists as a social experiment to build community among a diverse group of music maniacs – our reviewers and hopefully you. Pull down your knickers, lube up and join us in tickling yours and our taints.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Rihanna

By Null and SoDak

Just seeing the name Rihanna is sure to cause many fellow taint ticklers to exclaim, “What the fuck? Rihanna, really?” Then, after a couple minutes, a few of you will sigh and say, “Of course, it is Null and SoDak, who are listening to Rihanna. They have no shame.” Rest assured, we recognize our depravity and embarrassment, especially when first taking the plunge into these troubled waters. At the same time, there is a strong pattern in our lives, as far as how this happens.

It usually starts with a confession, which can go either way, as far as which one of us has strayed very deep into mainstream pop-music territory. Late at night, a call is made.

“Dude.” Followed by some hemming and hawing, trying to figure out how to tell the other what has happened. After a long pause, one states, “you will not believe what I did yesterday.”

The other, very familiar with these moments, chuckles, knowing what will follow. In response, one sighs signifying an inevitable defeat that is somehow inseparable from submission to a secret cathartic joy that is experienced when traveling through an unfamiliar terrain.

Finally, both of us are laughing. The other is filled with anticipation of what is to be revealed. “What did you buy?”

“I really don’t what to tell you. I am not sure why I did it. I heard a snippet of a song by her. I don’t know, I just liked her voice. I mean, fuck, I didn’t even know who she was until a couple of days ago.”

“Come on, just tell me what you bought. Hell, I just bought all of Phil Collins’s records from the 80s—after all, he had some pretty interesting drum patterns. Right? Shit, I don’t know anymore.” It is not unusual for one confession to turn into another.

“Okay, as I said, I didn’t know anything about her. I haven’t even seen a picture of her, except for the album cover. Shit, shit, shit, shit. I bought Loud.”

Loud? What the fuck is Loud?”

“It’s Rihanna’s new record. It just came out.”


Uncontrollable laughter is heard by the other. “Why did you do that?”

“I know, I know. I don’t know why I did it. I know what led to it. I heard a song, and her voice got stuck in my head. I struggled with whether or not I would ever listen to her records. Finally, I just bought one to get past the temptation. I have been listening to it over and over. ‘What’s My Name’ is the song I first heard. I do not like what some guy named Drake sings, but Rihanna’s vocals are so infectious. And then, the song, ‘Cheers (Drink to That)’ is awesome. It has a good chorus, ‘Don’t let the bastards get you down.’ I wish it was about something more than drinking and having a good time. But, fuck me, it is so fuckin’ catchy. It also has a song with Eminem, ‘Love the Way You Lie.’ Jesus, what the hell? I don’t know what I am doing anymore. I think I am going to go buy her record Good Girl Gone Bad, because I heard this song, ‘Umbrella,’—I love it. I can’t believe that I am even spending my time listening to all of this music. I mean, life is short, what the fuck am I doing listening to this music?”

The entire time, laughter is heard on the other end of the line. As support, the other offers, “I don’t know. It is weird that you are obsessing over her music. Whatever. I suppose it’s okay that you bought it, but I could never get into her. I don’t want to waste my time listening to another artist like that. I already have too many Shakira records. How many of those artists can one person invest in?” As friends, we share in each other’s discomfort, shame, and pleasure. The conversation briefly shifts to Shakira’s video, “She Wolf,” before drifting off to other subjects. We are somewhat consoled by the fact that Shakira gave Hugo Chavez a signed red guitar.

Four days later, the phone rings, and many Rihanna albums have been purchased. The other explains, “You are not going to believe what I did. I said that I would not buy any Rihanna records, but I went out and bought one record. Fuck you. After talking with you, I listened to a couple of her songs. I became obsessed. Then, the next day, I bought another one, and the next day another. I now have more Rihanna records than you. A couple more records, and I will have the whole collection.”

“Which records did you buy?”

“I first picked up Loud, then, Good Girl Gone Bad, then Rated R.”

“I also bought Good Girl. I really like it.”


The exchange spirals for at least two hours, sharing excitement about the aforementioned songs and the quality of her voice. We discuss various lyrics, noting the lines we like, but also how horrendous others—many others—are. We are attracted to the themes of alienation, loss, sorrow, loneliness, and love. We agree that it is tiring listening to songs about diamonds and such matters. How many songs can glorify such adoration for money and wealth? The current R&B charts are have yet to exhaust such bourgeoisie conceptions of reality. Of course, all of these things are common in much of rock music. The other explains how much he likes the percussion and other rhythms within the songs, mentioning that he has been trying to duplicate the beats on a real drum kit. We discuss how far back into her catalog we are willing to venture before shit gets really bad.

“By the way, how is Rated R?”

“It is worth checking out. I like the songs ‘Fire Bomb,’ ‘Rude Boy,’ ‘Cold Case Love,’ ‘Russian Roulette’ and ‘Photographs’ for different reasons.”

One year later, on the day that Rihanna’s record Talk that Talk is released, we call each other after having listened to the record several times.

“The single ‘We Found Love’ remains my favorite song on the record. I cannot get enough of that fuckin’ song. I play it over and over.”

“I agree it is awesome. I also really like ‘Do Ya Thang,’ but I wouldn’t call it a feminist anthem.”

Several months later, while driving from Denver to Ft. Collins, with our girlfirends in the backseat, we rock out to Rihanna, singing “We Found Love,” while dancing in the car. Our girlfriends videotape the performance, but since it is around midnight, it is just our silhouettes—perhaps it is best that is captured this way. More artistic? Less embarrassing? We hear laughing in the backseat as we discuss Rihanna videos, noting that she seems to like to roll around on the ground—a lot—wearing very little cloths.

The same pattern repeats itself when Unapologetic is released one year later. We like the song “Diamonds,” but think the constant references to diamonds is getting tiring. One notes that he is tired of the production and mixing on her records, particularly when it results in breaking up Rihanna’s singing, undermining the power and beauty of her voice. The other is still captivated by some of the drumbeats, but agrees that the record does not live up to the quality of the previous records. Interest remains, but starts to wane.

Four years later, Anti is released. One buys the record on release day. “The record is just okay. I really like one song, but I cannot remember the name right now. It has a beautiful sound and her voice is moving. You can hear her sing throughout the song. You might like the record. I would not recommend you rush out to buy it.”

A couple weeks later, “The best song is ‘Kiss it Better.’ I knew this was the song you liked. Immediately, when I heard it, I knew this was the one. I wish she would have included some of the singles she released, such as ‘American Oxygen,’ as they would have made this a stronger record.”

For years, Rihanna was a regular part of our conversations. Now, we seldom discuss her.

“Did you ever see the video for ‘Kiss it Better’?”

“The one where it seems that the viewer is present, making love to her.”

“Yeah, I saw it. The vocals and guitar are great. I couldn’t have handled that video as a kid. It would have put me over the edge. At least she isn’t selling sex; it’s all about the music.”





2 comments:

  1. That song you posted is really bad, but the article is great. You two have truly fallen into the music junkie abyss.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tell us something we don't already know.

    ReplyDelete