Thursday, February 14, 2013
So Rihanna's got this new music video for her song Stay, which features Mikky Ekko (a singer/songwriter from Louisiana). Ekko actually co-wrote the song with Justin Parker, who writes songs for a few popular female artists. I've always felt kind of weird about musicians who don't write their own music, but then, I understand how difficult it is to write a song that you can really consider "good."
The video for Stay is really striking to me for a number of reasons, most importantly its simplicity. The entire video is literally just Rihanna's pretty self sitting/lying in a bathtub full of cloudy water. She's more or less makeup-less, and there has been no attempt to cover up any tattoos or beauty marks. It's unrefined to the point that you can see the pores on her skin, which is a refreshing step forward in terms of music video quality—at least in my eyes. It's really beautiful to look at this human form, especially from the perspective of art and beauty and appreciation for the female body.
There is so little effort put in by Rihanna to make this video "shine" out amongst the thousands and thousands of high quality music videos we are surrounded by today, and rather than being annoyed or frustrated by this, her effortlessness is actually really stunning. Instead of lip syncing the whole song, there are moments when it seems like she can't even bring herself to mouth the words at all (in fact, a lot of the time she doesn't).
The camera pans the span of her body, glossing over her tattoos, the contours, the murky water... I hate to say this, but it's pretty evocative on its own. My criticisms (or critiques, rather) lie in the introduction of Mikky Ekko. I mean, his voice is great and lovely and nice in the song itself, but I sort of didn't want him to be in the video. It created this weird and possibly unwanted juxtaposition between the beautiful, dark, sultry, naked, bathtub-laying Rihanna and this fully clothed, standing, curly-haired unknown. If he had to be in the video, I feel like it could have been done more tastefully (for lack of a better word). Or with more poise. I don't know. That's just me.
My only other criticism is that at the very end, Rihanna squeezes out one simple tear. I just. Agh. As an actor, in acting school... too much "actiness." Just too much. Maybe it's pretentious for me to say that, but then again, it's not. It's just honest. I know it's just one tear and it's cute and heartbreaking but I just don't think it was necessary to convey the "feeling" of the lyrics and of the melody. It was already there. But otherwise, I thought it was a really lovely video.
See for yourself: