Calvin Harris And Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For”: Listen To Their New Collab
The task facing Calvin Harris when paired up with Rihanna has always been how to take what comes off like (I’m just guessing here, but…) the half hour he actually had with the always-on-the-go diva standing in front of a microphone and stretching that minimal vocal product into a commercially viable three-plus-minute pop song. With “We Found Love,” the results were brilliant and career-defining for Harris, and somehow managed to be the musical zeitgeist of 2011 in the 11th hour (the song was released late in that year). Given that, one can only imagine the pressure for an equal follow-up five years later.
The good news is that “This Is What You Came For” isn’t bad at all. In fact, if you can erase Calvin and Rihanna’s past musical history together from your mind (don’t forget “Where Have You Been”), the song is pretty decent Euro-centric dance floor fodder. It’s just a bit subdued — which might have been the correct decision; why attempt to top a pop classic and fail when you can zig left, aiming for other territory altogether?
As far as the track goes, this is standard Harris, post-Motion. He (thankfully) has dropped any dated EDM leanings he oddly adopted for a spell and is extending the house vibe of last summer’s fantastic “How Deep Is Your Love.” Rihanna’s vocal contribution, on the other hand, is basically a chorus that’s stretched as far as it can go throughout and one verse.
Bottom line: You hear Rihanna all through the song, thanks to a lot of studio smoke and soundboard wizardry. She’s just not saying much. But this is house, folks — it ain’t about storytelling. It’s about euphoria.