Rihanna's new song "Russian Roulette" makes it clear she "isn't going to play nice," said Todd Martens in the Los Angeles Times. In her first single since she was assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown back in February, Rihanna doesn't "shy from tough, violent subject matter." "Russian Roulette" is "far from the typical ballad—it's an assertive, harsh, and, at times, frightening single, coming to a close with a gunshot" (listen to "Russian Roulette" here).
Regarding the gunshot, said Zara Golden in Flavorwire, "we can only guess who's left standing." It seems obvious that "Russian Roulette" is "a nod at the Chris Brown scandal, as Rihanna sings about keeping faith in a troublesome relationship." It's a "moody" song that exposes Rihanna's "dark side," which really "works in her favor" here.
"Russian Roulette" isn't the most enticing song, said Stuart Heritage in Heckler Spray. It's the first single from Rihanna's upcoming album Rated R—and "the R, if you're wondering, stands for Really Bloody Depressing." "Russian Roulette" is a total downer, and "we hope that the song disappears without trace."