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Rihanna Premieres Heavy-Handed “Sledgehammer” Music Video from Star Trek Beyond

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Rihanna Premieres Heavy-Handed “Sledgehammer” Music Video from Star Trek Beyond

After making its premiere in IMAX Cinemas across the country, the music video for Rihanna’s new single, “Sledgehammer,” debuted on Tidal and YouTube this morning. The song, an over-produced power ballad lifted from the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack, finds the singer successfully aping the vocal style of Sia, who co-wrote the track. The pair previously collaborated on Rihanna’s hit “Diamonds,” a far more effective blending of the two stars’ signature sounds.

The video itself is similarly overwrought, featuring Rihanna, sans eyebrows, casting spells in a largely CGI-generated alien desert. With the “Nothing Is Promised” singer’s face tattoos, weird top ponytail, and blood-orange kimono-style jumpsuit billowing in the extraterrestrial breeze, the clip makes nods to Madonna’s “Frozen.” But the heavy-handed “Sledgehammer” lacks that iconic video’s haunting starkness, replacing it with special effects that have the subtlety of, well, a sledgehammer.