Rihanna wastes no time in releasing singles, even before premiering the music video to her first, she was already shooting the next and announcing the third, without even releasing the album in the first place. ‘What’s My Name?’ serves as her second single off Loud, and is partly assisted by rapper Drake.

Rihanna has not sounded this ‘Islandy’ since Music of the Sun. This is probably the closest she has gone back to her early days. ‘What’s My Name?’ is an absolute smash. It has a brilliant produced beat in the likes of ‘Rude Boy’. It is far superior to the electric dance-half trance ‘Sexy Bitch’-wannabe ‘Only girl (In The World)’. The Drake feature is not predominant in the song but for the first quarter, where he merely introduces the track with an auto-tuned verse. The feature does not go overboard, it is limited as possible and does not take anything away from the Stargate-produced number.

Rihanna delivering harmonized slightly synthesized Oh na na’s and fast paced sung verses, with her unique accent are the cherry on top, and bring the song to life with endless luster and beaming shimmer. The percussive techno-esque rhythm given to the song is marvelously crafted. Stargate is really showing his talents with his recent productions.

The chorus is memorable and it does not outshine the verses in the actual song unlike her first single did, which focused immensely in the chorus alone limiting the track lyrically. This is not the case with ‘’What’s My Name?’, it is well rounded both sonically and lyrically speaking. Every base has been covered with this single and shows off the alleged variety present in her forthcoming album.

‘Only Girl (In the World)’ was described as bigger than her #1 hit ‘Rude Boy’, but in reality the closest to the aforementioned is this, which follows similarly delivered vocals with a chill yet solid strong beat. Rihanna worked amazingly with the dark imagery and moody themes in Rated R, but this sound shows this is what she can manage best with ease and minimal effort. Summer-sunny pop is Rihanna’s niche, which is what she started off initially when she hit the music scene in 2005 with the tropical ‘Pon De Replay’.

‘What’s My Name?’ is the overall concept of Music of the Sun revised and tailored with today’s superior production to sound fresh, avoiding it from sounding dated and repeated; her music is being taken to a whole new level with this, as she just managed to sound slightly electro without losing her Caribbean novelty.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Download ‘What’s My Name?’

Loud in stores November 16th.