Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rihanna Shines on "Diamonds" Recalls her Own Chart Past

At this point it's not surprising to hear that come close to the end of the year Rihanna will release a new single and a new album. Of all the artists on the treadmill of big hit singles and even bigger tabloid headlines Rihanna is ruling the roost and maintaining an enviable chart run.

This time last year We Found Love matched Rihanna's already impressive run of hits (Especially with  less agressive feel of Loud allowing Riri to knock up some of her most successful tunes to date) with the pop-dance nous of Calvin Harris for that perfect storm of a pop single. It still sounds amazing despite constant radio play worldwide, one of those pop songs that crosses over to everybody.

Despite this the following album Talk That Talk didn't offer up a near-perfect run of singles like Loud, maybe because the songs just weren't strong enough and that other then the frantic Where Have You Been little else on that album really stood up to chart scrutiny (not that TTT didn't provide some interesting numbers, Cockiness is a fantastic slice of jerky R&B pop and the title track is an enjoyable mid-tempo cousin to What's My Name)

So it would be correct to expect Rihanna to unveil a new single with a similarly dance-tinged flavour yes? Wrong! Diamonds debuted earlier today and it heads into different territory. Produced by Benny Blanco and Stargate and written by Sia it's certainly not a piece of thundering rave-pop but a radio-ready ear-worm with plenty of charm.

To compare it other Rihanna songs, you can feel the sweep and mid-tempo gloom of Umbrella in it's DNA, the production with it's drum beat, glittering piano riffs and church organ vibes recalls her duet with Coldplay, Princess of China and the vocal delivery with it's inherent Sia-ness recalls the likes of Russian Roulette.

Diamonds is compelling, hooky pop that is a reminder of Rihanna's skill as a blank canvas for strong, boldly drawn pop music. Little is known about the album but hopefully it'll feel a little less rushed than previous efforts and serve up some more memorable moments.

Listen to Diamonds here, it's due to be released on iTunes worldwide later today.

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