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Music Reviews

MPAA Rating
Pop, R&B
Hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Record Label
Def Jam
September 10, 2010
Paul Asay


"Only Girl (In the World)"

Rihanna may refashion her look every few months, but when it comes to the music from this Barbados-born reggae ingénue turned pop princes, she's as reliable as your favorite umbrella. That is, if your umbrella churns out sexy dance-pop frosted over a layer of raunchy R&B.

Rihanna's latest hit, "Only Girl (In the World)," is a straightforward song about love and sex. It's ostensibly tame enough not to inhibit the huge amount of radio play its driving, infectious beat commands, but it's filled with enough suggestive language to make it feel more than a little dirty.

From the get-go, Rihanna asks her beau to "love me like I'm a hot pie/Keep thinkin' of me, doin' what you like." Later, she tells him, "Take me like a thief in the night/Hold me like a pillow, make me feel right." A provocative double entendre teases, "Baby I'll tell you all my secrets that I'm keepin'/You can come inside/And when you enter/You ain't leavin'/Be my prisoner for the night." Still more winking allusions to sex turn up in the song's bridge, where Rihanna instructs her lover, "Take me for a ride/Oh baby, take me high/Let me make you first/Oh, make it last all night."

We've had to crop the track's artwork for decency's sake. And in the song's accompanying video, Rihanna cavorts in a variety of scenic outdoor settings, switching costumes more frequently than Tony Stewart switches lanes. Most reveal cleavage and midriff, and her skirt blows up. Their inherent sexuality is accentuated by the fact that Rihanna doesn't just dance in them—she writhes and rolls and tempts and pouts in them, sometimes touching herself suggestively. Her intentionally titillating message is unmistakable: "I am sex symbol. Hear me coo."