In recent years, Rihanna's seemingly shifted her focus from making hot pop bangers to heavily emotional material that showcases her unique vocal timbre. A new ballad, "As Real as You and Me," looks to continue the trend that "Diamonds," "Stay" and new single "FourFiveSeconds" set in motion. This might be her best performance to date.
Lifted off the upcoming soundtrack to animated flick Home, "As Real as You and Me" is a gorgeous, piano-focused tune that seems to indicate Rihanna's been working with a voice coach. (No shame in that, by the way—Madonna did the same thing ahead of her role in Evita.) Throughout, we get multiple shades of Rih's voice from silky falsetto notes to sultry, breathy coos, as well as with some unexpectedly powerful belting moments. She nails them all with the depth of a longtime vocal virtuoso. Listen below:
Rih's got a few GRAMMY awards on her shelf, but only for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Dance Recording, Best Rap Song and Best Urban Contemporary Album—so none in the Pop Vocal categories. If she stays on this trajectory, our girl might be looking at her first trophies awarding her singing skills.