“We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.” - Chehkov. Rest in Peace, Anton Yelchin. So incredibly talented and without a doubt a highlight of the “Star Trek” films. The USS Enterprise won’t be the same without you. #AntonYelchin #StarTrek
From the moment Rihanna’s new video opens, it’s already on-brand as part of the soundtrack to the new Star Trek movie. We find ourselves swirling through a galaxy tinged in the red and purple hues of the Northern Lights - until the USS Enterprise flies through the shot, the franchise it reminds me of the most is not Star Trek, but rather the opening sequence to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s 2014 incarnation of Cosmos. We soon land in an otherworldly desert, where Rihanna, dressed in a billowing orange robe, starts crooning.
In Sledgehammer, Rihanna seems to have taken a page from the book of Adele. The song is a slow and soaring ballad, with cavernous sustained notes wailed in a melodramatic vibrato. She’s a different kind of diva here, trading in, at least momentarily, sweltering Caribbean grooves for a sluggish, booming churn reminiscent of Hello, or even of a Celine Dion ballad from the 90’s. While she sings with great urgency - and while the refrain of the song, “You’re just another brick and I’m a sledgehammer,” threatens aggression and violence - there’s something painfully delicate in Rihanna’s tone as she builds toward each thunderous chorus.
I have no idea what’s going to happen in Star Trek Beyond. But between wanting to hear this song, and wanting to see Anton Yelchin, the talented young actor who died in an accident last month, in one more role, I’m planning on checking it out.