Rihanna: Russian Roulette

Okay, so Gerard already reviewed this earlier on and I brought you the video when it first surfaced but now I’m basically doing my own song and video review. Okay, so this is Russian Roulette, the first official single from Rihanna’s upcoming fourth studio album Rated R. It was released on 13 November 2009 in Ireland and 16 November 2009 in UK. Getting straight to the point, I love this song. Rihanna is basically pulling a Madonna and reinventing herself. Sure she could have gone with the playful, stylish sex kitten that we saw with Good Girl Gone Bad but instead she has changed her appearance to look like a stylish, dark anti-pop figure that’s sure to get everyone talking. Her music has taken a similar dark turn as Russian Roulette is a dark, moody ballad about being in an abusive relationship which is a metaphor for russian roulette. Yes, one would wonder if she’s talking about Chris Brown. While Rihanna stays objective lyric wise, what I love about this song is that she sounds vunerable…vunerable and desperate – like she’s actually in an abusive reationship. Rihanna does have a writing credit on this song alongside Ne-Yo so I imagine that this song is personal and RiRi gives a stunning vocal performance against a brooding production which begins with an eerie guitar solo and ends in a gunshot. This lady has definitely grown up and matured since the ’07 release of GGGB. The video is similarly dramatic but very cinematic in its structure. Basically Rihanna shows her vunerability in the violent, slightly disturbing video but sends out a subtle message of how she comes out the more powerful via the twist at the end. However if I am to be critical I will say this, guns and violence are not glamourous Rihanna and if you want to show some true vunerability, stop being so fashionably sexy. But all in all, some of the best work she’s done even if it is a grower. Dark, mature and brooding.

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