The lyrics to Rihanna's "Diamonds," the first single from her seventh album "Unapologetic," celebrate finding a love so great that it shines bright "like diamonds in the sky." But the video hardly chronicles a love affair.
Rihanna reteams with video director Anthony Mandler for a clip that finds the "Where Have You Been Singer" in numerous states of distress.
The video opens with Rihanna running her hands through a mound of diamonds. She pours some of them into wrapping papers and lights up. She's captured in various states of undress and is seen barefoot, frantically running from a car down the middle of a dark, deserted highway. In another scene, she's expressionless amid a city in ruins with people on fire. As she sits in a ransacked room, footage of the destruction is played backwards. There are several shots of her attempting to clinch the tattooed arm of a faceless assumed love.
Clips of Rihanna in a desert field with horses running free and the closing image of her lying on her back in a calm ocean are the only moments of serenity to support the song's peaceful lyrics.
It seems as though she's in chaos, reflecting on happier times.
In an interview with MTV, Rihanna said she wanted the video to offer different vibes. "With every song it's a different story, so the visuals are very specific to that story and that world," she said. "With 'Diamonds,' it was just a series of vignettes that we put together to help get the emotion across throughout the song 'cause the song changes and it builds, and there's no real way that you could do that. You just want people to feel that and I wanted little cutaways of interactions that would give you the right emotion."
On Wednesday, Rihanna kicks off her 777 Tour that will take her and 150 journalists (including this writer) across the globe. "Unapologetic" will be released on November 19.