Song Shots: “Diamonds” by Rihanna (Cover by Steam Powered Giraffe)

This Song Shot is a bit different from those that came before it. I want to talk about the song “Diamonds” by Rihanna—but not her version. Instead let’s look at Steam Powered Giraffe’s powerful and fun cover. First, there’s The Spine’s delivery of Rihanna’s lyrics. Such beauty and passion is conveyed, even though the overall sense of it is meant to be free and fun. Then there’s the video with its over-the-top greenscreen effects and a duet with a mechanical giraffe. When compared with the original video, the imagery of Rihanna’s version is much more intense, showing images of freedom, abuse, and even of religion and rebirth. (Still powerful but for different reasons.) As for the music, the cover doesn’t sway too far from the original. The SPG version has a stronger piano in the forefront, while the original is driven by a heavier, more danceable rhythm section.

Nevertheless, the cover has been bouncing around in my head since the first time I saw it. It’s just so damn catchy! And this video embodies quite a few reasons why I love Steam Powered Giraffe. Entertainment, talent, passion, and commitment in both the audio and visual mediums. It’s definitely worth the watch.

“So shine bright tonight / You and I / We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky / Eye to eye / So alive / We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky”

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