Love Without Tragedy / Mother Mary
Label: Def Jam Recordings
"What's love without tragedy?" asks Rihanna. Whether it's another allusion to her doomed affair with Chris Brown (who gets face time on "Nobody's Business"), or just another example of how she's a cipher adaptable to any trend -- whether it's the dirty house of "Right Now," the pumped-up bro-step of "Jump," or Future's Auto-Tuned trap-pop on "Loveeeeeee Song" -- she summons a passion that feels personal. She's outshone by Mikky Ekko on "Stay," but "Diamonds" is all hers, and even if the "sunshine and Molly" line panders to her EDM acolytes, it's another jewel in an impressive pop career.