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In February 2010, Rihanna expressed a positive opinion on the album, but commented that her future work would be less intense.She asserted, "I really like the bottom, the grime of it."She broke onto the scene so hard with the last record — to have that many songs on the charts is impressive.I think that the smartest thing she's doing is not trying to emulate what she did but move forward", Timberlake explained.It incorporates elements of hip hop, rock, and dubstep.It also explores other genres, such as dancehall in "Rude Boy" and Latin in "Te Amo"."Russian Roulette" was released as the album's lead single and managed to reach top-ten in seventeen countries and topped the charts in Norway and Switzerland.
The record featured several vocalists and instrumentalists, including Young Jeezy, will.i.am, Justin Timberlake and Slash, who played the guitars in "Rockstar 101".Musically, the album represents a departure from her previous effort Good Girl Gone Bad, which contained up-tempo and ballad-oriented songs.Conceived after Rihanna's assault by her then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, Rated R features a foreboding and atmospheric tone in terms of musical and lyrical direction.But if I were to combine that with more energetic, up-tempo pop records, then I think that would be a happy marriage. The recording sessions for the album took place at Milk Studios in Manhattan, New York, Metropolis Studios in London, England, Studios Davout in Paris, France and at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California.Rihanna also worked with Norwegian producer duo Star Gate, who mused that the collaboration was "very rewarding" and "inspiring for us", commenting: "I don't think we should talk about titles just yet.