Girls Aloud know it, Leona Lewis knows it, and even Franz Ferdinand know it – great pop is hard to beat. America’s most recent answer to our successful crop has to be Rihanna, whose infectious ‘Umbrella’ dominated the UK charts and playlists for months earlier this year and had a colossal impact on all who heard it. As a result of this, the wonderfully rhythmic single went on to break records as the longest-running number one since Wet Wet Wet’s ‘Love is All Around’ back in 1994 and the longest-running number one by a female artist since Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’. Many also light-heartedly blamed it for our lack of a decent summer while others were unable to remove the song’s incredibly catchy refrain from their heads. The track even inspired a bizarre craze for waving open umbrellas in time to the music on dancefloors around the country.
Superstitious types have been bleating about such behaviour being bad luck for years, but not so for the Barbados-born, 19-year-old singer who endured a relatively shaky start to her career despite some stunning singles in the form of ‘Pon De Replay’ and ‘SOS’, eventually hooking up with Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Stargate, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland to make critically-acclaimed third offering Good Girl Gone Bad. Along with ‘Umbrella’, the album also boasts such addictive little numbers as ‘Shut Up and Drive’ and ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’. So, anyone lucky enough to be heading along to this long sold-out show can be assured of a triumphant, polished performance which will be sure to get those brollies going yet again. (Camilla Pia)
SECC, Glasgow, Fri 14 Dec