Written by: Calvin Harris
Produced by: Calvin Harris
Album: Talk That Talk
UK release: October 2011
UK chart peak: 1
Even when popstars are already on top of their game, every now and then they put out a new song so undeniably huge that it sort of redefines their career, in a way. Or at least adds a key ~Moment to it. It happened to Britney with Toxic, to Beyoncé with Single Ladies, to Girls Aloud with The Promise, to Kylie with Can’t Get You Out Of My Head… and it’s happened to Rihanna several times, actually, but most notably this decade with We Found Love.
It’s so simple. A high-octane dance track masterminded by Calvin Harris; punctuated by a straightforward beat-drop and an incredibly easy vocal hook. But it just kind of… bottles lightning, doesn’t it? Rihanna’s vocal elevates it, truly; all vulnerability and yearning and earnestness, offset against Calvin’s marvellously simple EDM chaos. So simple, in fact, that many (MANY!!!!) songs by many artists have tried to replicate it over the years, but it’s just never the same. This song just has it. The X-factor. The magic that happens when elements that appear ~basic~ come together and somehow create a 10/10 masterpiece.
But an important note: if you do the insufferably heterosexual “OOH! OOH!” chants over the big instrumental breaks, we… cannot be friends.