Sick of “Umbrella” Yet? Don’t Be

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Barbadian teen superstar Rihanna could be heading for the record books: her summer anthem “Umbrella” just extended its reign at the top of the UK charts to eight weeks. Will it go another week? The last single to spend nine weeks at #1 was, in fact, Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” (see previous post), which was famously “deleted” (i.e., removed from distribution and chart eligibility) in order to prevent Gnarls overload. So, is “Umbrella” in danger of, er, gouging everyone’s ears out? Not yet, says The Guardian‘s Dorian Lynskey, who gives nine reasons why he’s still enjoying the “ella, ella, ay, ay, ay:”

1. It’s such an improbable R&B summer smash. Neither laidback and fuzzy nor upbeat and exuberant, it’s more like a rock power ballad stripped down to drums, voice, and thundercloud synths. Plus – and more on this later – it’s about rain, for crying out loud. Who writes a summer song about rain?

He goes on to cite the track’s detailed production, Rihanna’s voice (and good looks), and even maintains the much-maligned intro rap from Jay-Z is actually a positive, throwing the rest of the track’s brilliance into sharper relief, I guess. The track’s current seven-week reign in the US means we should also be inching towards “Umbrella” saturation soon, but one of Lynskey’s reasons to hold out is peculiarly British: the endless rain that has apparently been pouring down on the UK all summer makes the song seem oddly relevant. Interestingly enough, the rain has been so bad that an Ireland radio station that’s been playing my Snow Police mash-up got in touch with me to do a mash-up commission (in an apparent attempt to break the curse of the summer storms): a combo of “Umbrella” with any song about sun, or warmth, or drought, or dryness of any sort. I gave it a try with “Walkin’ on Sunshine,” but it didn’t really work. Sorry, waterlogged Irish kids…

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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