FACES: Rihanna

We explore the pop star's significance in the music world and beyond


    FACES is Consequence of Sound’s literary magazine. Each volume focuses on an artist whose scope of creativity and cultural impact defies simple categorization. Through a blend of original artwork and a variety of writings, we hope to both shed light upon and celebrate the artists who continually inspire us to put pen to paper.

    I admit to having blindly dismissed a lot of pop music over the years. Just hearing that generic genre label attached to a song, album, or artist was reason enough for me to decline a listen and allocate my attention elsewhere. It’s a snobbish filtering system, but one I’m not alone in using. To me, the term “pop” always conjured images of factories, conveyor belts, and units (not songs) rolling off the line. It signified music being manufactured rather than crafted, consumed not absorbed, and so blatantly conceived, packaged, and promoted as a product that it must be plastic and void of any real artistic authenticity or sincerity. That attitude has left me standing outside (often alone) the frenzy that Rihanna naturally seems to create every couple of years, save for having ignored a few singles in passing on the radio or reading about the Chris Brown saga.

    Rihanna cap 2 1400

    Feature artwork by Cap Blackard  (Purchase Prints + More)

    The pity in dismissing a genre en masse isn’t that I’ve missed out on songs that I would surely love. I already have enough songs — more than enough to last a lifetime. No, the shame stems from the assumption that because someone makes a certain type of music, his or her story can’t teach, resonate with, or inspire me. And after reading the following thoughtful essays from Brian Josephs, Lyndsey Havens, and Wren Graves, I realize that Rihanna’s incredible journey has all of that to offer me, even if I won’t be eagerly purchasing her new album, Anti, when it hits shelves.


    Regardless of how you feel about Rihanna’s music, she’s an artist worth getting to know. Hopefully, these pieces will be an introduction for some of you just as they were for me.

    –Matt Melis
    Senior Editor

    Table of Contents:
    — Finding Love on the Dance Floor with Rihanna by Brian Josephs … Page 2
    — Living the American Dream by Lyndsey Havens … Page 3
    — The Accidental Mirror by Wren Graves … Page 4

    Original artwork by Consequence of Sound Art Director Cap Blackard, Kristin Frenzel, Jacob Livengood, and Steven Fiche.


    Past Issues:
    FACES: Neil Young
    FACES: Tom Petty
    FACES: Dave Grohl
    FACES: Carrie Brownstein