As usual, I've got singles reviews in the usual spot and overflow below. Mostly pleased with these considering I wrote most of them at around two in the morning, still wired from the Moroccan tea I had earlier in the day.
Rammstein - Mann Gegen Mann
There's something inherently cartoonish about a goth-industrial band like Rammstein, and even more so with all that guttural German. Still, this is surprisingly effective, with a darting bass part serving as a menacing undercurrent and a theremin-like synth whoosh as a treat near the end.
Rihanna - S.O.S.
I wouldn't have expected the follow-up single to Rihanna's seductive bubble-dancehall hit "Pon de Replay" to be a more straight-up (read: American-sounding) R&B song based around a "Tainted Love" sample, of all things. But to the 18-year-old's credit, she's able to breathe new life into the '80s club night staple by treating it as just another mold for her proficient and unmistakably alluring voice. She navigates those darkly buoyant synth lines with style.
Rogue Traders - Watching You
For a song that brazenly swipes one of new wave's most famous stutter-stop riffs, this song feels oddly unfocused. Maybe it's because hearing "My Sharona" in the context of a nervy female lead vocal also calls to mind Elastica's "Three Girl Rhumba" rip, or maybe it's because that laser-synth break demands more of an overall presence. I can't argue that it's not fun in its own way, though.