We gave it a C
This summer, the Barbadian belle’s ”Pon De Replay” rode a beat reminiscent of Lou Bega’s ”Mambo No. 5” to the top of the charts. Thanks to support from Jay-Z and Def Jam, Rihanna’s fame will likely last longer than Bega’s, but it shouldn’t. The 17-year-old’s vibrant vocals lift tracks like ”That La La La” and ”Let Me,” but this bland dancehall/R&B debut is filled with chintzy production and maudlin arrangements that block out the Music of the Sun.