Monday, 12 September 2011

Rihanna - Umbrella

Artist - Rihanna
Year - 2007
Genre - R&B
Producer - The Dream & Tricky Stewart
Type - Performance
Audience - Teenagers

"Umbrella" is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna, featuring a rap verse by Jay-Z. The song was written by The-DreamChristopher StewartKuk Harrell and Jay-Z, and was produced by Stewart and The-Dream for Rihanna's third studio albumGood Girl Gone Bad (2007). "Umbrella" is a contemporary R&B and hip hop song and lyrically it refers to a romantic and platonic relationship and the strength of that relationship. It is generally considered as Rihanna's signature song. Wikipedia

The song became one of Rihanna's most icon songs, Entertainment weekly ranked the song number one on the 10 best single charts, Rolling Stones also listed Umbrella at number 3 in the 100 best songs of 2007. In the year of its release 2007, Umbrella was nominated for 4 awards in the MTV awards, and won 2. Rihanna and Jay Z also won an award at the Grammy's for Umbrella being the best rap/song collaboration. 
The year and season of release is icon to the name of the song, as the weather for the time of summer when it was released was constant rain, making the song storm through the charts. 

The video for Umbrella ties into lyrics, with each scene containing rain in the background, and also the props used such as an umbrella, which is typical of English weather. 
The video begins with rhianna dressed in black, with this sultry look, in almost some kind of seductive position, stating her sex symbol that she is seen as today. Jay Z also starts by saying " Good girl Gone Bad" , this video made her the sex symbol she is today, the black suductive look, is completly different to previous videos such as  If Its Loving That You Want 
which have a more colourful sweet theme, the difference in these videos could tie in with Jay Z comment Good Girl Gone Bad. 
The video is still keeping the traditional theme of Male rapper songs, in Jay Z parts with the female dancers, keeping them young and sexy, wearing Mini Shorts, and showing leg with Jay Z in the middle of them, maybe showing the authority of the male. 
In the first chorus scene, the Rihanna from the beginning is now dressed in white, showing her purity, as well as having close ups on the " bad rhianna". 

The video is fast paced you can see this from the longest scene being 5 seconds long, there are also lots of fast paced straight cuts, and fade ins. Most of the close ups featured on Rihanna are mainly when she is hitting a high note or holding a note for a while. 
Special effects such as smoke at the beginning are used to highlight Rihanna body, and dark side to make her look more mysterious. The more special effects used are things like rain on the screen, to create an illusion of rain, (1:15). Laura Macavoy's male gaze theory can also be seen, with the provocative female dancers. 

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