We review Rihanna’s new single Russian Roulette

I had to print the cover for Rihanna’s latest single, Russian Roulette, in the biggest size the blog would take. Pretty sexy, eh? And is that a barbed wire bra she’s wearing?

Anyway, enough about Rihanna’s agressively airbrushed cover photo, let’s talk about that single for a minute. Russian Roulette is Rihanna’s return as a solo artist (discounting those cameos with Jay-Z and Kanye ‘Ima gonna let you finish’ West. And yes, it’s her first solo single since that incident with Chris Brown.

So what’s it like? Russian Roulette is very much a moody, brooding ballad. Written by Rihanna herself along with Ne-Yo, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a Ryan Tedder number. It’s got that sparse beat, a little light instrumentation with all of the focus on the vocal performance. And it’s perhaps the finest stab Rihanna’s had at a ballad in ages.

But a bit like those Tedder-by-numbers tracks, Roulette doesn’t actually seem to go anywhere. There’s no great climax to the track (although it has a subtle hook that’ll probably get wedged in my head after an afternoon listening to it). And then there’s the completely unnecessary gunshot sound right at the end.

No video for the single as yet, but take a listen to Russian Roulette here (before YouTube block it).

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