Rihanna in a scene from her "What Now" music video. (Vevo )
Rihanna has been anything but subtle as of late. Between a fashion shoot at a mosque, posing with endangered species, visiting Thai sex shows and reportedly showering Texas strippers with thousands in cash (alongside Drake), hearing the words “new Rihanna video” certainly grabs your attention.
Her last clip, for strip club anthem “Pour It Up,” was a gloriously tawdry, NSFW twerk fest. In her video for “What Now,” which she premiered on Friday, the pop star toned it down – sort of.
Filmed in Thailand -- sometime between cuddling with an endangered slow loris and watching a Thai woman do unspeakable things with a bird and ping-pong balls -- the clip for the morose piano ballad largely shows her singing the song, emoting and not allowing her dark sadness from keeping her seductiveness at bay.
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But this is a Rihanna video, and she didn’t become the most-watched artist on Vevo/YouTube without offering some drama in her videos. A few moments grab you in between scenes of her writhing in an empty warehouse. A cross burns in one scene, lions appear ready to rip each other apart in another and there are lots of ghostly images of the singer being sad and sexy.
What’s more interesting is the singer is issuing a video for an album that will soon turn a year old, a rarity for a Rihanna album cycle.
Since her 2005 debut she's issued a staggering seven albums in just seven years, often issuing new material in the midst of a previous album cycle -- and for the past four years, new records have arrived in November. Maybe she’s finally taking a breather? The year isn’t over, though.
Watch “What Now” below:
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