"Sledgehammer" is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna. It was released on June 27, 2016 as a single to promote Star Trek Beyond. It plays during the film's closing credits but is not included on the film's soundtrack. The song was written by Sia Furler (Sia), Robyn Fenty (Rihanna) and Jesse Shatkin. A music video for the song was released on June 30, 2016, and shows Rihanna performing magical acts on a foreign planet. The video was shot entirely on IMAX cameras.
|Single by Rihanna|
|Released||June 27, 2016|
|Rihanna singles chronology|
On June 26, 2016, Rihanna hinted that she would release a new song, stating on Instagram, "Got something for y'all tomorrow". Over two years prior, Rihanna tweeted, "You're just another brick and I'm a sledgehammer", hinting that she had been working on the song since 2014. The song was written collaboratively by Rihanna, Sia Furler and Jesse Shatkin. Rihanna and Sia had previously worked together on the former's 2012 song, "Diamonds".
A new trailer for Star Trek Beyond featuring "Sledgehammer", was released on June 27, 2016, the same day that the song was released. Rihanna subsequently said that she had been a fan of the Star Trek franchise since she was a child, after being introduced to it by her father. She explained that "This is something that's been a part of me since my childhood, it's never left me, I love Star Trek. It was automatic. I would do anything in terms of music. It's such a big deal not only as a fan, as a musician... because Star Trek is such a big deal across the globe."
The song is a piano ballad written in the key of D major with a slow tempo of 66 beats per minute in common time. It follows a chord progression of D – B♭ (B♭/C in the coda) – Gm, and Rihanna's vocals span from G3 to F♯5.
Camila Cassidy of The Edge gave the song a generally positive review stating, "She pretty much nailed it – it feels tone perfect. It’s a little orchestral, swooping, but with a strong enough chorus and verse pattern to be commercially successful." However she also stated, "As a dramatic theatrical piece? It’s a little weak, too much fuss with the lyrics while instrumentation takes a back seat. As a radio hit? The vocals aren’t prominent enough...Both are excellent, but both just need to be more." Daniel Kreps from Rolling Stone wrote, "Rihanna sings on the aching chorus, which sports a monster hook typical of Sia's work." Rachel Sonis from Idolator gave the song a 7/10, stating, "The Aussie singer-songwriter knows exactly how vast Rih[anna]’s vocal abilities are and isn’t afraid to push them. No doubt, this probably came in handy, since “Sledgehammer” — from Rihanna’s haunting drones to the song’s thunderous melody — is a monster of a track." A Bit of Pop Music wrote, "‘Sledgehammer’ is a powerful pop ballad with a huge chorus, that should do well in combination with the probable success of its movie...but it might be time for Sia to shake up her formula a bit, as ‘Sledgehammer’ is in no way a surprising composition."
A music video for the song premiered June 30, 2016 in IMAX theaters at 9:00am EST. The video was then released onto Vevo and Tidal an hour later. The music video was the first to be shot entirely with IMAX cameras. The music video features Rihanna dressed in a sci-fi costume performing magic by moving boulders. At the video's ending, Rihanna turns into a celestial god, face to "face" with the USS Enterprise.
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||40|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||72|
|New Zealand Heatseekers (Recorded Music NZ)||6|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||69|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||2|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||36|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||16|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||40|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||48|
The video for the new track will be released on 27 June at 12pm GMT.
Singer's Sia-penned track appears in new trailer for upcoming sci-fi epic
The self-professed Star Trek fan falls short in her single for the third entry in the revamped film franchise, with a generic-sounding ballad co-written by Sia