Rihanna seems to have caused quite the stir with her latest single “S&M” and its accompanying video. With all of the surrounding controversy you’d think Rihanna had given “Dirrty Part 2”, but sadly “S&M”‘s bark is worse than its bite. It also lacks the shamelessness of Aguilera’s coming of age bombshell single to make anywhere near as enjoyable. With that said, “S&M” is still a decent slab of filth.

     The song starts off with a bang, as Rihanna shouts “Na-na-na-na come on“. Sadly it is followed by a lackluster verse until things start getting interesting again during the chorus. “Sticks and stones may break my bones/ But chains and wipes excite me” is probably the most embarrassing come on since almost any line from “Hold It Against Me”, but unlike Britney, Rihanna is able to pull it off with surprising sass. This is further proof of Rihanna’s growth as an artist and vocalist, but it is hardly the graceful efforts that “Only Girl” and “What’s My Name?” were.

     There’s also a good chance that this single could wear thin quickly if it receives the same amount of airplay as her last few singles, because “S&M” is the kind of song that can easily become grating after hearing it a few too many times. In fact, when I first listened to Loud I considered it to be a highlight, but by the time of its single release, which really hasn’t been that long, I can already see myself growing bored of it. I suppose that might also be because she kind of perfected her whole dominatrix schtick with “Rude Boy”. Still, “S&M” serves its purpose well and should still remain enjoyable in moderation.

Grade: B-