Rihanna, "Only Girl (In the World)"

77 Billboard Rating

While Rihanna presented a provocative inner glimpse with "Russian Roulette," the first single off last year's "Rated R," the pop star has taken a more crowd-pleasing approach for the first offering from forthcoming album "Loud." Fortunately, "Only Girl (In the World)" is just as stylish and thoughtfully constructed as "Don't Stop the Music" and "Rude Boy," two of the singer's previous collaborations with white-hot production duo Stargate. As the sweaty techno beat of the verses segues into abrasive synth stabs, Rihanna's coy come-ons turn into forceful declarations and create a dynamic push-pull. "Only Girl" may crib a few moves from European electro acts like Cascada and La Roux, but Rihanna owns the track in the stunning bridge, with only a pounding beat supporting her measured vocals. "Only Girl (In the World)" is exactly the type of savvy pop gift fans have been waiting for her to deliver to the Billboard Hot 100.

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