“FourFiveSeconds” comes in the same fashion as Kanye’s “Only One.” Without the technical flashiness of pop or hip hop, the song finds its elegantly simple tempo from just an acoustic guitar for the chorus and keys for the bridge. Not only is this new Rihanna music — it is fresh Rihanna music.


Rihanna, Kayne West, & Paul McCartney
Roc Nation Records

It’s a song about keeping it together, whether for four to five seconds, until Friday or until you can make it back home. Lyrically, it’s relatable, finding its thematic roots in everyday struggle as opposed to the lavish lifestyles RiRi and Ye often sing about.

The track could feel absent without Paul McCartney’s great vocals, but its minimalist production is remarkable for the pop and rap stars. Typically characterized by heavy beats and techno synths, the unplugged sound McCartney’s production brings to Rihanna and Kanye is smooth and enriched, allowing the singers to show what they can really do.

As I type this, “I got three more days ‘til Friday,” and I plan on listening to “FourFiveSeconds” the entire time.

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