By now it’s pretty customary to have a jaw-on-the-floor reaction to the first single from a Rihanna album. ‘Pon De Replay’, ‘SOS’, ‘Umbrella’,’Russian Roulette’,’Only Girl In The World’. It’s like the setlist from The Best Wedding Disco ever, right? (well, apart from ‘Russian Roulette”s vaguely Hara kiri themed high-jinks, obvs). Is ‘We Found Love’ the first one to break the spell?
To the any pop fan the words ‘featuring Calvin Harris’ will set off alarm bells. I mean are we going to get ‘Dance Wiv Me’ Calvin Harris or ‘Acceptable In The 80s’ Calvin Harris? Well the answer is neither.
What we do get is Harris seemingly channeling Stargate’s trancey keyboard work from ‘Only Girl In The World’ but in a different key (and a few moments where you expect Dizzee to turn up and start doing the rap from ‘Bonkers’).
In contrast to this, Ri-Ri sounds extremely relaxed; her vocal sounds luxurious calling to mind the atmosphere (and the melody) of ‘Loud”s ‘Complicated’.
The over-all effect is underwhelming. Instead of re-inventing the pop wheel like she’s done before (oh hai ‘Umbrella’) this has a whiff of treading-water about it. If there is a ‘goosebump’ moment to be had it comes after many multiple plays and, dare we say it, a glass of something strong.