Rihanna: You Da One
New Rihanna video goes for naughty burlesque strip tease on one bubbly song
On her new album, Talk That Talk, pop diva Rihanna falls in love with…love. And the born-again affections in her coos and woos are evident throughout “You Da One.” It’s a cheery r&b song with modern pop swivel and her trademark dancehall phrasing. The Melina Matsoukas-directed concept video does a total 180°.
Although the Cee Lo lyric video blurt-tations and the backdrop of spectacular black & white designs fortify the visual experience, Rihanna goes for outrageously tip drill stripteases, leather–clad wardrobes (i.e. “S&M”), flesh-coated leotards and provocative impulses to arouse its “wow” factor. We’ve seen this act over and over again. And yes, it’s getting old; depending on whom you poll. But visually the video somehow succeeds in blending the nasty girl persona with her universal appeal. Still there’s an obvious fault left on the chopping block: When she sings, “You are the one/So I’ll make sure I behave,” she’s too busy masturbating like a female Michael Jackson. It’s a confusing paradox that needs a serious explanation.
J MATTHEW COBB