Rihanna has released her second official single off her latest (and seventh) album, Unapologetic. That song she sang at the Grammys over the weekend? It's called "Stay" and it's the new single she released in December.
Like always, when artists release a new single, they will also release a new music video and "Stay" is no different. Unless you count the fact that RiRi released not one, but two videos for the song.
Yesterday, Rihanna tweeted, “Got a couple treats for you today before the #STAY #WORLDPREMIERE tonight at 7 pm on E! News #staytuned.” She wasn't kidding, either.
RiRi's two videos are almost entirely the same. It's just that one version is "uncut." While they're both set in the same bathtub, they're also very different.
The regular video shows RiRi preparing for her bath and then cuts between scenes of her singing in the bathtub to guest vocalist Mikky Ekko sitting elsewhere singing his parts.
The "uncut" video is just Rihanna in the bathtub. She doesn't sing along. You're just watching the pop star stare off into space or into the camera in a constant state of reflection... or possibly sorrow. The video is a little uncomfortable.
The bathtub is no doubt a way to reiterate the vulnerability of the song and it does a remarkable job just at doing that. But there comes a point when you're inevitably just watching someone you don't know take a bath. And not even a sexy bath, but one of those baths where it looks kind of like she's hoping the longer she soaks, the more bad memories she'll be able to wash away. You're not meant to spend 4 minutes with a person during bath time like that.
The song itself is a departure from the club-worthy singles she's released in recent past. It's gorgeous, though, and a decent example of why music "critics" use words like "haunting" to describe a song. Will "Stay" give you nightmares? No. Will it make you question your last breakup or leave you in your own bathtub reflecting on better times or tragic endings in the affairs of your heart? Oh, hell yes.
It's "haunting" because it leaves you just a little unsettled by your own memories. And that, dear readers, is what quality music is all about.
Tell us what you think of Rihanna's new single, as well as both of her videos. Do you approve?
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