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Rihanna - S.O.S. (Rescue Me) (Def Jam)

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Photo © Dej Jam Records

The Bottom Line

"If It's Lovin' That You Want" was a slightly lackluster followup to Rihanna's stirring debut hit "Pon De Replay." Def Jam now skips ahead to support "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)," a single that previews a second Rihanna album that will not be available until April. It is a wise move. She returns to the dancefloor in a pounding tune that should take her back up the charts.

Listen to "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)"

Rate it yourself.


  • That insistent sample from Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"
  • Rihanna's lower register
  • Beats begging to be remixed for the dance floor


  • Rihanna hasn't quite gotten all of the pieces of her unique style together


  • Instrumental sample from Soft Cell's recording of "Tainted Love" provides an irresistible hook
  • Rihanna's lower register is distinctively her own
  • The echoes of Beyonce in the higher register are weaker

Guide Review - Rihanna - S.O.S. (Rescue Me) (Def Jam)

One of the intriguing pop music stories of last year was the discovery of Barbados teen Rihanna by New York's Def Jam Records. The label's president, rap legend Jay-Z, brought her to the United States and her first single, "Pon De Replay," shot up the pop singles chart, just missing the top and spending months on radio playlists across the country.

As is true with many recording artists who shoot to the top of the charts so quickly, finding a strong followup has not proved easy. "If It's Lovin' That You Want", the second single pulled from the Music of the Sun album, is a bit too light in its Caribbean lilt to hold the attention of listeners.

Just when it looked like a 3rd, inevitably somewhat weak, single would be pulled from the album, Def Jam has unleashed a previously unheard song, "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)," as Rihanna's next single. It will be included on a second album that will not be in stores until April, 2006. The song is an insistent dance tune built on a solid sample from Soft Cell's classic 80's recording of "Tainted Love." It will be given additional exposure by Rihanna's endorsement agreement with Nike. Look for quick chart action.

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