Rihanna purportedly goes back to a dancier lighter pop sound with ‘Only Girl (In the World)’, a pop dance upbeat track which leads the way to the release of Rihanna’s fifth record, Loud. She claims to be doing something different to her previous albums and not attempting to re-do Good Girl Gone Bad (her highest selling album to date), but ‘Only Girl’ sounds like it belongs to the aforementioned record.

It is a mix of ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’ given an electric shock of a heavy Euro tinge, and an overdose of the current dance trends taking over airwaves. It sounds derived from Lady GaGa and Taio Cruz, or at least it sounds like everything else Rihanna’s contemporaries would do with electro-synthesized beats.

The single had been described as massively bigger than the dance Caribbean flavored ‘Rude Boy’, but it is only an overstatement; ‘Rude Boy’ is still far superior to this. Even though the song was produced by Stargate, it sounds like something David Guetta would have easily crafted; it in fact sounds too Guetta-ish, it draws a lot of comparison to Kelly Rowland’s Guetta-produced ‘Commander’.

Lyrically, ‘Only Girl’ is lacking. The predominant verses are the choruses, which run for almost 50 seconds, nearly a minute. Since Rihanna sings the chorus about three times, the choruses are most of the track leaving the verses with little running time and not allowing them to spread throughout as they should, making the track limited when it comes to actual lyrics. The lyrics are not bad exactly, but they could be extended into something more, it basically conceals itself. Rihanna has improved over the years when it comes to her vocal ability, holding prolonged and stronger notes in the verses consequently giving the song personality and life; even if the song was not written by Rihanna herself, she is able to pull it off the ground.

It is definitely a step up from the mostly depressing but interesting sounding Rated R, it is a watered down less urban ‘Rude Boy’ combined with ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’ given a heavier dance production. It is an enjoyable number but it is not anything to be knocked off one’s feet for.

★★★1/2

C.Perez

Loud scheduled for a November 16th release.

Download ‘Only Girl (In The World)’