Rihanna: S.O.S. (Rescue Me)


rihanna_02.jpgIt's unsurprising that the video for Rihanna's latest single, S.O.S. (Rescue Me) contains an alluring bronzed woman, flashing lights, and close-ups because (1) these are nearly prerequisites for MTV videos and (2) Rihanna is so gorgeous that she really doesn't need to do anything to entertain. Throughout the video she sprawls in a corner and dances in sultry outfits; the lyrics suggest that a boy has her &ldquostressing" and "calling out for help," though she certainly doesn't seem to be losing any sleep over it.

RihannaFor Rihanna, a native of Barbados, this video is a departure from the dancehall theme of her two previous singles, If It's Lovin' That You Want and Pon de Replay. Gone are the beach scenes, the DJs, and the Caribbean backing track. In fact, this video is shot against an erratic monochromatic background, features few choreographed dance scenes, and a thundering beat that is an obvious appropriation of Soft Cell's eighties hit Tainted Love.

As a result, Rihanna's choreography in S.O.S pales in comparison to her previous work, but fits well with the song; the hazy lighting and changing backgrounds even compensate for the lack of synchronized movement.

Overall, S.O.S. is a fairly standard pop music video. Rihanna burst onto the charts last summer with a unique sound, but her latest effort merely indicates that she is versatile enough to produce hits outside of the reggae/dancehall realm, just like every other pop singer. At least, in comparison to her recent Nike advertisement featuring this song, the music video attempts to interpret and complicate the song lyrics. Unfortunately, despite this valiant goal, it ends up being largely indistinguishable from other videos in the same genre, I guess I'll have to wait for her next one to "rescue me" from the monotony.

Source: The Harvard Crimson (http://www.thecrimson.com)