Rihanna "Rated R" Promotional Photo Rihanna "Rated R" Promotional Photo

Here are a couple of new promo pics from Rihanna‘s new album!

Ri is about a month away from releasing Rated R, her most anticipated album ever … and the industry is buzzing like crazy! Even though Rihanna chose to release a “dark” ballad instead of an upbeat club track, which surprised a lot of people, the song’s co-producer Chuck Harmony says that both the album and the song “Russian Roulette” are a reflection of Rihanna growing up and coming into her own.

Harmony told MTV News that no matter how you feel about the track, the album will prove that Rihanna is the Madonna of her generation. “I sat through mix sessions and I heard some of the songs on the record. It fits in well,” he said of “Russian Roulette.”

The song is a bit darker than some of Rihanna’s past singles, but Harmony said that isn’t indicative of the rest of the album. “I think Rihanna has captured what her old fans are used to, as well as the growth of an artist. ‘Russian Roulette,’ to me, is a shining example of her growth and her artistic expression,” he said. ” ‘Russian Roulette’ is definitely taking her to another level. I think she’s a pop icon, so her music should reflect that.”

Harmony added that he still can’t believe his track was picked to kick off her comeback, because there was just too much great material to pick from. “I was actually shocked I got the first single ’cause the album is so great,” he said.

Although Harmony is one of Rihanna’s colleagues, he says he’s just as interested as anyone in how the singer is marketing herself, including the single’s provocative cover art. “It fits in with the song,” he said of the photo. “The way it’s unfolding is so genius. Like, ‘The wait is ova’ [message on her site]. I was waiting too. I wanted to see the cover, I wanted to hear the song. It’s one of those records where you just don’t know. It’s not a faith record. It’s one of those thought-provoking records.”

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PICS: RIHANNA DAILY