It turns out that Rihanna’s new “Love The Way You Lie (Part II)” isn’t the only track where she appears to relive (and perhaps exorcise) the painful memories of her troubled relationship with Chris Brown. New ballad “Complicated” finds the mostly cheery singer locked in a difficult partnership with a lover she can’t seem to leave. In theory, she could be singing about anyone. But take one listen to this song — in which Rihanna stretches her voice to the outer limits of its register — and it’s clear this one is personal. Hear it below.
The only quibble we have with this song is that — as with “Firework” by Ri-Ri’s friend Katy Perry — we have to wonder if she can carry this off live.
This is certainly not the kind uptempo dance music that fans sometimes seem to demand of Rihanna (though it does seem ripe for remixing). But it’s a terrific example of what she can do when she digs deep. Her vocals sound clear and strong, aided by the minimalist electronic production (which we’re guessing comes courtesy of Stargate). Is this the kind of song you hoped she would tackle on Loud?