Rihanna’s 2009 album Rated R was, as advertised, dangerous; after all, it was recorded following her fight with then-boyfriend Chris Brown. From the upfront sexuality of “Rude Boy” to a potentially fatal game of “Russian Roulette,” this is where RiRi began exploring her darker side. That is until now: A new remix of “Roulette” from Mikey Maramag, or Blackbird Blackbird, manages to pull some brightness from the ballad.
Rihanna’s original is styled as a cold, marching epic, but Blackbird‘s serene instrumental gives it a new life and movement. It isn’t too minimal, and listening to it is almost like watching a puzzle piece itself together. It’s kind of dizzying and intriguing, with Rihanna’s now-ghostly vocals padding the track amid cool, snapping fingers. It’s pretty much a 180 in tone, making the track infectiously sweet–like, kiss on the cheek sweet.
Enjoy Blackbird Blackbird‘s take on “Russian Roulette” below.