Five years ago, Calvin Harris featured on what has now come to be Rihanna’s biggest selling song to date, We Found Love. This time though, Calvin has enlisted the help of RiRi as the vocalist on his newest release, This Is What You Came For. And that shift in reins is immediately audible, in that the only segment of the track where Rihanna’s vocals can actually be heard is the first fourteen seconds of the (almost) four-minute track. For the remainder of the song, her vocals have suffered so much manipulation that the resulting sound is as synthetic as their surrounding production.
This is not to say that the song does not serve its purpose well. Released in spring, This Is What You Came For is a tropical EDM/house crossover that sounds like summer and will get you on the dance floor if played in a club. But whether or not it will make your party playlist – and stay on it until summer – remains to be seen. Again though, it is not a bad track. The EDM build-up and catchy hook (complete with “yoo-oo-oou”’s to sing along to) that crescendos into a breezy, bouncy house-style chorus is fun and inviting.
But the addition Rihanna as the guest vocalist seems like a questionable decision, perhaps a decision built more about status than compatibility. They have worked brilliantly together in the past, and you can see why they would want to create We Found Love’s success. With this song though, I’m not so sure.