Because it is only every self respecting artiste’s dream to lend his or her voice to an animation feature, “ella ella ella” Rihanna has done her part for this work based on the 2007 children book The True Meaning of Smekday. Not only does the 27 year old voice the protagonist teenage girl in the movie, this soundtrack is headlined by the Barbadian singer.
This is a concept album which contains only eight tracks, running at a total of 31 minutes. Kicking off the CD is Rihanna’s “Towards the Sun”, an inspirational pop ballad backed up with grand chorals, easily making it the most likeable cue on the album. Teenagers would have no problems putting the next two tracks on their playlists – Clarence Coffee Jr’s (from the song writing team The Monsters and the Strangerz) “Run to Me” and Canadian musician Kiesza “Cannonball”. Both tracks are infused with healthy energy and infectious tunes.
Elsewhere, you can get into the party mood with English singer and songwriter Charli XCX’s “Red Balloon” (you’ll find yourself tapping your feet to the upbeat rhythm) and British DJ Jacob Plant’s “Drop That” (the perfect tune to a human train and chug chug chug around the party floor).
Rihanna also performs two other songs – the emotional “As Real as You and Me” and the bopping “Dancing in the Dark”. Both tracks are easy to like and should go down easily with the pickiest listener.
Closing the album is “shake your booty” Jennifer Lopez’s (who voices Rihanna’s mother in the movie) “Feel the Light”, an aptly moving song to bring out the family theme of the animated feature. The heartfelt tune with R & B influence is a fitting concluding track to this soundtrack headlined by the two female artistes appealing to different (predominantly male, probably) listeners from two different generations.
Recommended Track: (1) Towards the Sun
Review by John Li