I want my Rihanna back.

It’s too early to see if she has a case of “serious artist’s syndrome,” but the first two songs from her forthcoming album, “Rated R” have us a little concerned that the fun-loving Barbadian cutie we bonded with over such hits as “SOS,” Umbrella” and “Don’t Stop the Music” has gone to the dark side.

This wouldn’t be the first time an artist decides that the music that simply makes us feel great and like dancing isn’t enough and she needs to make a statement to prove she is a real artist (Kelly Clarkson’s “My December,” anyone?)
 
There’s no denying that Rihanna has had a horrible time of it  this past year and it will be fascinating to see what she has to say when she appears on “Good Morning America” on Nov. 5 and “20/20” on Nov. 6. How did her experiences as a victim of domestic abuse at the hand of Chris Brown affect her creative choices? Plus, it’s not as if she hasn’t done downer songs before like “Unfaithful.”
 
However if “Russian Roulette,” which is not going to be a radio hit, or “Wait Your Turn” are any indication of where she’s going musically on “Rated R,” we could be in for a long slog. I already wrote about “Russian Roulette” here (the music video will debut on “20/20” on Nov. 13… she’s obviously struck some kind of deal with ABC).
 
“Wait Your Turn” is a mid-tempo thumper with not much of a hook other than “The wait is ova…,” which is cute or annoying, depending upon how you feel about mispronunciations. The video is shot in grainy black and white (which means it costs lots and lots of bucks to look that low-tech) Rihanna is trotting around in an eye patch, bra and long coat… we can go ahead and tell you that is not a look that is going to catch on.  
 
Rihanna, go ahead and flex your creative muscles, but don’t forget about the music that got you to this point and what made us fall for you in the first place. Fans want to support you, but it's often hard to tell if a change in direction is merely an indulgence or true creative growth.
 
What do you think of "Wait Your Turn"? Share your thoughts below.