Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris – We Found Love

First Hit #1: November 12, 2011

There’s not much to We Found Love. Any meaning behind it is most likely gleaned from the video, since the lyrics are largely generic and repetitive. The song is otherwise some pretty rote EDM that is only really notable because Rihanna is the person singing over it – the beat is big but indistinct. It’s sort of an office tower of a song, it’s huge, but it’s indistinct and fairly generic. “We found love in a hopeless place” isn’t a bad lyric, but it’s repeated way too often, to the point where it loses whatever meaning it has. The thing is it’s just nothing all that new, this is all stuff that has been heard before, better, and while it does work in a club context it’s hardly anything exciting outside of it – mostly because nobody sane is doing drugs on their morning commute, so they can notice that this isn’t particularly special when they’re sober, not dancing, and not trying to pick anyone up.

To her credit, Rihanna didn’t go the special edition route as originally planned, and instead of Loud, only moreso, actually recorded a full album. I’ve kind of kept quiet about this irritating trend because I kind of had a plan to bring it up in the future, but I figure I’d mention it here.

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One Response to Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris – We Found Love

  1. musicosity1 says:

    Musically, we basically have two rhythms interplaying: the single melody line Rihanna keeps repeating, and the six beat ostinato Harris offers on a variety of keyboard patches. The only other musical element of note is the section with the solo pitch which climbs steadily through multiple octaves. Was this a hat tip to the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” or just an independent recognition that such prolonged musical movement builds anticipation? Are we done yet? No, there’s more? And more? When?!?

    Minimal lyrics, albeit ones sadly describing her oft-dashed hopes that her on-and-off boyfriend Chris Brown would reform his brutish ways and, you know, stop beating people up. We see the rise of the modern DJ nicely illustrated as well. The original DJs ruled radio station playlists and spun records out over the airwaves according to their whims. But as Tom Petty reminded us (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOd3tan59BE), that era ended when media conglomerates bought up all the radio stations and programmed all the song selections centrally. But by the 80s, the term “DJ” had moved from radio stations and clubs onto the stage, playing vinyl samples behind rappers and making funny noises with, as Beck said, “two turntables and a microphone.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPfmNxKLDG4)

    Turntable scratching mainstreamed sufficiently to find its way into big pop hits like Hanson’s “MMMBop,” and the role of the “DJ” continued to evolve into a tech wizard and electronica arranger, which is where folks like Calvin Harris and Avicii come in. As in the early days of pop, the producer has become a big enough star to rate a “featuring…” credit at the top of the song. Should we go back and retrofit Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” album with “f/Glen Ballard” on every song? What about “Let Go,” by Avril Lavigne f/The Matrix?

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