September 05, 2005 12:00 PM

Music of the Sun

With its infectious, hand-clapping dance-hall groove, Rihanna‘s smash “Pon de Replay” has indeed had deejays turning the music up, over and over, this summer. But whereas you might have expected this 17-year-old Barbados native to be destined for one-hit wonderdom—much like Lumidee was in 2003 with her similarly styled reggae jam “Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)”—Rihanna‘s debut suggests her career outlook may be decidedly sunnier. Playing up her lilting island sounds on cuts like the breezy, bouncy “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want” and the Spanish-guitar-laced title tune, she distinguishes herself from the pack of Ciara clones. Sheeny, age-appropriate ballads such as “Willing to Wait” also display why she could be the Caribbean teen queen.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Pon de Replay”


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