After the releases of 2005's Music of the Sun and 2006's A Girl Like Me, Rihanna was tired of playing it safe and decided to shock the world with her third album—Good Girl Gone Bad. The singer cut her princess locks into a sharp jet-black bop, traded her sparkly dresses for spikes and transformed her sound from uninspiring R&B to a fusion of dance, hip-hop, soul and rock.
The era sparked a change for Rihanna's career, officially carving out her place in the industry among the greats of her idols like Janet Jackson and Madonna. She was no longer the pretty girl-next-door singer. No, we were now looking at the next pop icon and didn't even realize at the time. Good Girl Gone Bad is certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA, 6x Platinum in the U.K., debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 9 million copies worldwide. It also birthed some of Rihanna's most well known singles to date like "Umbrella," "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take a Bow"and earned her seven GRAMMY nominations.
So in honor of its anniversary, let's get into our personal rankings of every song on the album!
Rihanna's honest reveals about her distrust in people and reflections on the music industry just wasn't enough to save the penultimate track on the Good Girl Gone Bad standard edition. "Question Existing" was a fresh sound for the singer at the time, yet it didn't hold up well 10 years later. Rating: 4/10
It's still adorable to hear a teenage Rihanna explore more naughty themes as seen in "Push Up On Me." While the track has a catchy hook, it's not as memorable as the other uptempo songs on the album. But this lyric still remains true: "I can be the girl that'll can break you down." Rating: 5/10
This rumbling closer to the GGGB standard edition is one of Rihanna's more underrated deep cuts. The title track served as the basis of her whole era, where she became more focused on making a stance in music and take control of her artistry. While the song talks about leaving a f-ckboy behind, it actually has a bigger message of her transformation from the innocent Caribbean girl to what we know now has Bad Gal RiRi. Rating: 6/10
"Shut Up and Drive" (the second single from GGGB) peaking at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and being certified 2x Platinum will never be enough for me to fully enjoy this song! It has cheesy erotic innuendos (yes guys, the song was all about sex) and a clanky '80s-inspired melody. But I will say, I do give producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken credit for their killer sample of New Order's 1983 classic "Blue Monday." Rating: 6/10
Timbaland produced three tracks that play in succession on GGGB: "Sell Me Candy," "Rehab" and "Lemme Get That." The latter song is his most experimental out of the trio, thanks to it's stomping boom-bap production that come almost as hard as Rih's fiery attitude. Her sass is at an all-time high on this track, as she straight up tells a male interest that he better be spending them checks on her if he wants to win her heart. But don't get it twisted: she's not a goldigger. If you got the cash, why spend mind when I can spend yours? Rating: 6.5/10
Good Girl Gone Bad may have found Rihanna diving headfirst into the pop arena, but songs like "Say It" showed that she didn't forget her Caribbean upbringing. The singer also got to display her delicate yet commanding vocals on this track, something that wasn't always highlighted on her previous two albums. Sampling dancehall star Mad Cobra's 1992 "Flex," the slinky tune is an undeniable charmer. Rating: 6.5/10
While I do think this song lacks originality (I'm looking at you Ne-Yo), it is still one of Rihanna's most successful singles and proved that she could do a mainstream ballad. Ne-Yo is the co-writer of both "Take A Bow" and Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" (which was released just two years prior), which was a hinderance to Rihanna as she was trying to shed those comparisons. But putting that all aside, she sounds beautifully powerful on the track that later became 4x Platinum and inescapable on the radio. Rating: 7/10
"Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum!" There's something just so satisfying about "Disturbia," a track from the GGGB deluxe edition that found Rihanna playing around even more with electropop. It is her own version "Thriller," as both the song and video are heavily influenced by classic horror tropes. Did you know it was originally meant for Chris Brown's Exclusive album re-release? After co-writing the track, he smartly decided to give it to his then-girlfriend. "Disturbia" dominated radio and the charts for weeks on end, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 days straight and is certified 6x Platinum. I also have a vivid high school memory of belting this song in a friend's car as we left the movies, so this song always has a special pocket in my heart. Rating: 7/10
A Rihanna and Maroon 5 collaboration may have seemed odd at first, but it made total sense at the time. The band was on a high after the success of their second album It Won't Be Soon Before Long and Rih was still feeling the fire of "Umbrella." "If I Never See Your Face Again" is pure sex, with the singer and Adam Levine trading lusty lyrics with each other. After hearing what these two acts came up with 10 years ago, we are still hoping for a second collaboration that is just as magical. Rating: 8/10
Alright Ne-Yo, you did well on this track! "Hate That I Love You" is a beautiful song, it's simple as that. Despite GGGB being marketed as her edgy and more rebellious era, she got to showcase her tender, romantic side with this mid-tempo ballad. Her vocals are stunning, her looks in the video are gorgeous and it is an overall folky summer breeze. How can you not love it? Rating: 8/10
Critics shot down "Rehab" as being too similar to Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around," but that's actually the reason why I adore it so much. Two years removed from 2006's FutureSex/LoveSounds, Timberlake and his music partner-in-crime Timbaland co-wrote and produced this track that blended their style at the time with Rihanna's willingness to experiment. It's a mournful, emotion-ridden ballad that found the singer sinking into adulthood with a more mature pop/R&B sound. Rating: 8.5/10
"Sell Me Candy," one of the singer's most underrated songs in her entire discography, has production notes from Timbaland and The-Dream, so it was bound to become a surefire bop. It's a hodge-podge of hip-hop, pop, R&B and electronic melodies that will have you grooving. And Rihanna's coos of "I’m weak by your touch and when it’s melting on my lips" and "I run through my body when you lick my fingertips" will have you tingling. Rating: 9/10
Ella, ella, eh, eh, eh! "Umbrella," undoubtedly one of Rihanna's most successful and signature songs, was the official introduction to her edgy era with a little help from her mentor Jay Z. The charts couldn't get enough of it, as the single became one of the highest digital debuts in the United States and owned the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks. Aren't you glad Britney Spears, who the track was initially meant for, passed on it? Rating: 10/10
I bet you weren't expecting this to be the number one track, huh? While we can never take away the international success of "Umbrella," it doesn't have the timeless factor that "Don't Stop the Music" has. It still sounds a bit dated upon hearing it in 2017, but "Don't Stop the Music" (the fourth single from GGGB) can still be spun at parties until the end of time. We have StarGate to thank for that, the Norwegian producers who are the masterminds behind some of Rih's biggest hits. Their driving, handclap-heavy beat that featured blips of Michael Jackson's 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" is sheer brilliance. Whether you are 5 years old or 50, this song will have you dancing nonstop until the sun comes up. Rating: 10/10
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