You know, the nice thing about the music video era is, like movie trailers or the first single from a beloved musician, it gives you something for which to look forward. Yet, there are only a few mega-stars who really deliver that moment, the feeling that, when you watch the video, you are witnessing something. RiRi is one of those stars.
The Navi* know what we mean, which is why they are deployed in almost a militaristic fashion every time Rihanna puts out another song. For "Diamonds", the first single off of Unapologetic, they have every right to be enthused. "Diamonds" is a raw Rihanna, one who lets tears slide down her cheek and forgoes the badassery of "S&M" and "Rude Boy" for nakedness and cotton sweaters.
The video touts the highly-promoted video of Rihanna smoking diamonds (Symbolism alert: All of that fantasy and fancy are meant to just simply go up in smoke...?), but it's the exposed, black-and-white images of Rihanna that are most arresting. She runs away from a car a la Kiss Me Deadly, but stops because something catches her attention. She sits pensively in a room that is slowly shattering, but keeps her eyes locked with the camera. And lastly, a figure that looks suspiciously like her famous ex walks through streets ablaze with fire. Rihanna, for the most part, spends her time staring at the camera, saddened and introspective, reminding us that she doesn't need gyration or smokey eyes to be one of the most evocative, beautiful women in the world.
* For those of you who might be confused, Rihanna's fans dub themselves "Navi", pronounced navy. The more you know...