The Bottom Line
Def Jam realizes they have a goldmine in the combination of Rihanna and Ne-Yo. He is one of the most gifted, if occasionally uneven, songwriters to emerge in the pop/r&b universe in recent years. His lyrics always get attention even if they veer toward the inane at times. Rihanna has the unique ability to deliver them without batting an eyelash, and this is another success, if a little lifeless, for the duo. Look for it to be Rihanna's 9th, yes 9th, top 10 pop single.
- Clever lyrics from Ne-Yo
- Effectiveness of spoken asides
- Standard, lifeless instrumental arrangement
- Written by Ne-Yo
- Produced by Stargate
- Released March 2008 by Def Jam
Guide Review - Rihanna - "Take a Bow"
"How about a round of applause?" 3 years ago we didn't know who Rihanna was. Now, as she looks for her 9th, and 6th consecutive, top 10 pop single, it's hard to imagine pop radio without her. Of those hits, 2 have been written by Ne-Yo and 3 have been produced by Stargate. Now, in an effort to put a single into pop radio rotation just as the album Good Girl Gone Bad is re-released in a deluxe edition, Ne-Yo and Stargate are back on board for "Take a Bow."
The song sports Ne-Yo's unique feel for lyrics ("You better hurry up before the sprinklers come on"). It is a kiss-off to a former lover and not dissimilar in content to another huge Ne-Yo and Stargate collaboration, Beyonce's mega-smash "Irreplaceable." The production utilizes brief spoken asides by Rihanna to great effect. It's her "please!" and dismissive giggle that are likely to be the most memorable elements from this effort.
The keyboard-based backing of "Take a Bow" is, by now, standard Stargate and does not challenge their best. However, you are likely to find yourself singing along after the first few times through, and that should be enough right now to keep Rihanna in good graces with pop radio programmers.