It’s fall, which means two things in accordance with the laws of nature: The air’s getting cooler, and a new Rihanna era is beginning.

And just has she’s done for years now–with 2009’s “Russian Roulette,” with 2010’s “Only Girl (In The World),” and with 2011’s “We Found Love,” the Bajan beauty’s come guns blazing with a brand new beat for her Navy: “Diamonds,” penned by Sia and produced by Benny Blanco & Stargate.

From the very first moment, “Diamonds” presents itself as something entirely different from anything on the radio: It’s not the killer club cut many might have been expecting from the “We Found Love” songstress–instead, it’s a gorgeously soulful, triumphantly striding midtempo.

“Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy,” Rihanna confidently declares, showcasing her vocals in a way that she really hasn’t explored since…”California King Bed,” maybe? She sounds incredible. Her wailing toward the end of the song, especially, is a real triumph–no doubt thanks to the guidance of Sia.

Speaking of, that springy, silly Sia-inspired enunciation which Rihanna imitates throughout just cracks me up in the best of ways (“Shayn brayght like a diamond!”) This is very obviously a Sia-penned gem, and that shines through (like a diamond.)

Even the beat itself doesn’t feel like a “typical” Stargate or Benny Blanco production (just listen to Ke$ha‘s own Benny Blanco-produced comeback track from two days ago.) Instead, it’s a gorgeous dose of swagger (hearing Kanye West‘s “Flashing Lights”) meets soul (hearing subtle shades of Jessie Ware, Sade and Blood Orange, of Sky Ferreira‘s “Everything is Embarrassing”) that feels endlessly repeatable.

This is Rihanna leading the charge in pop, rather than simply following the trends: There’s no dubstep, no post-chorus beat breakdowns, no “radio-friendly EDM” whatsoever–she’s been there, done that.

“Diamonds” is a risk–and an absolutely brilliant one, at that.

“Diamonds” was released on September 27. (iTunes)

  • Steve Z.

    RiRi just ushered in a new beautiful era that looks back on Umbrella as she moves forward. Legendtina is fuming and must be prepping soulful single 2, ready to claim My Body was a misunderstood masterpiece. Good Girl Gone Bad 2.0 just may be the unexpected diamond of the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marcus-Reynolds/100000610007013 Marcus Reynolds

    This Review Speaks The Truth. Rihanna Has Done It All. Every One Else Will Be Following Her Trend Soon. Watch This.

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  • http://twitter.com/ItsMoXiiE Moxiie

    Spoken like a true listener. <3

  • Meowfie

    I love herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr OMG

  • terry

    So very Sia. I love it.

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  • Aaron

    the song is ok. for some reason it reminds me of Lana del Rey. and i think she imitates Sia to much to the point where i forget who is singing this song.

  • lin

    reminds me of Lana del ray. Also, ask any Bajan to say “shine bright” and they’ll pronounce it as Rihanna does on this track. its not an imitation of sia, just her natural accent.

  • lin

    reminds me of Lana del ray. Also, ask any Bajan to say “shine bright” and they’ll pronounce it as Rihanna does on this track. its not an imitation of sia, just her natural accent.