S. Elle Cameron

All love is a tragedy...

American Oxygen (Music & Video Review)

Okay, so I know I'm late but I've been busy! The song was released over a week ago (basically two weeks now) and I've been listening to it since then, I just haven't had the chance to review it (which may be good because I can now review it with a clearer opinion). Anyway, check out my review below for one of Rihanna's new songs from her upcoming album (still called R8 for now), American Oxygen.

Initially when I first heard American Oxygen I thought "hmmm, it's okay but it's not FourFiveSeconds or Kiss It Better" and while I do feel almost the same way, the song has grown on me a bit more. American Oxygen depicts the struggle of making it in America (as does the music video) and I think it's an important message for society, especially in times like now.

Now, I've read it took about a year to write this song and at first I thought "why?" but after a few more listens I can see why. It's one of those songs you have to get right if you're going to go there. You can't "half fast" it and the production of the song shows just that. It's well written and of course Rihanna makes it her own as she does every song given to her.

Now, while the song is an easy listen, I don't expect it to impact radio the way FourFiveSeconds did (I don't care, I still love that song!) American Oxygen is an anthem for the new generation of Americans but it's also a bit too "safe" to be considered a huge anthem in the way "Empire State of Mind" was for New Yorkers. It just doesn't have that strong feel.

I have been listening to the song for a while now and it's found its way onto a few of my playlists but I wish it hit harder. Although I can relate to the lyrics and I completely understand sweating for a nickle and a dime in hopes to turn it into an empire but the song doesn't have that "now press repeat" factor that most Rihanna songs have. I appreciate the seriousness and message of the song but when I initially heard the snippet, I thought it may hit harder. Honestly, the snippet didn't even have that "Higher" effect (now that's a song she needs to release ASAP).

Now as for the music video, it bumps the song up a few notches in my opinion. The video is ON POINT! Rih Rih didn't miss a beat with the visuals and the story of America. Depicting how the new and old America are so different yet pretty much the same was ingenious. It's heartfelt and inspiring and honestly, the video is what gave me more appreciation for the song. Reaching the American Dream takes blood, sweat, and tears (literally!) and even then you may fall short.

After all the country has been through, Rihanna stands to say "we are the new America!" and those lines I would love to shout proudly knowing there are millions willing to shout the same thing. American Oxygen's music video is the perfect example of why music videos are important to a song and why that companionship is needed. The video gives the song MUCH more meaning.

Overall, I would rate American Oxygen a 3.5/5 stars. It's definitely no "Higher" or "Kiss It Better" or even "FourFiveSeconds" but it'll do as I still get my dosage of new Rihanna music. Still waiting for the release of R8...maybe I should review BBHMM even though it's even older than American Oxygen...just a thought...

Buy American Oxygen here on iTunes.