Rihanna‘s new single “Diamonds” forgoes the neon strobe lights of her recent singles like “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been” for more of a gently glistening vibe to go along with the song’s title. The production scaled back the energy, giving the song a pleasing lightness which helps accentuate RiRi’s strong vocals and slightly different timbre (it’s as if she’s channeling Sia, who co-wrote the song).
Most of RiRi’s songs are power moves, undeniable forces that cannot be denied. This one is sly, saying “come on in, the water’s nice” rather than pushing you into the pool. We’ve scoured the web’s reactions to the new Rihanna song, and most reviewers seem to want to hop in for a swim. Read on for the roundup.
:: Over at Consequence Of Sound, the song brightened their day: “Again and again she pleads that ‘we’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky,’ and all of sudden Wednesday morning feels pretty damn good.”
:: Rap-Up gushed that “the dramatic tune boasts soaring vocals and an undeniable hook.”
:: MTV called it a “slow-churning pop tune” in which “Rihanna flexes a bit of her vocal muscle.”
:: Chart Rigger was aching for a change of pace like this from RiRi: “Thank god Rihanna has chucked the generic dance thump of many of her previous singles (though I still dig ‘We Found Love’) and switched up the sound for her lead offering from her 723rd album… The mid-tempo beat reminds me of slower ’70s disco like ‘Love To Love You Baby’ for some reason.”
:: Huffington Post pointed out that “It’s not a dance song, except in the sense that every Rihanna track eventually turns into a club-ready sing-along”
:: Rolling Stone lauded the track, saying its “production mainly stays out of Rihanna’s way, letting the pop star build hooks with layers of her voice.”
:: The Telegraph‘s James Lachno, however, was decidedly tougher on the song. “It’s a…middle of the road pop song…Rihanna’s piledriver vocal can usually be relied upon to pierce through the most watery of backing tracks, but here she sounds disinterested.” We’d argue that her voice has a habit of sounding stale on her most high-octane songs, whereas we think Rihanna sounds fully engaged on “Diamonds.” Lachno added that the chorus “sounds quite a lot like a rework of Lana Del Rey‘s Born to Die” and now that he mentions it, we’re totally getting hints of LDR in that hook.