Friday, May 13th, 2016

Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – This is What You Came For

Harris + Ri return for another turn on the dance floor.


Cassy Gress: Calvin Harris is on auto-pilot and Rihanna sounds thoroughly noncommittal and barely like herself. It’s almost like she was obligated to do two songs with Calvin, and is tossing this out just to be done with it, since it’s pretty clear that the direction she wants to go in isn’t this one anymore.

Crystal Leww: The death of EDM has come swiftly and miserably for some, but a couple of megastars of the genre have handled the shift particularly well. My enemy D*plo has done great work in producing pop music, working with Justin Bieber and Beyonce. Skrillex has built an empire in OWSLA that does everything from dubstep to trap to house to jersey club to something literally called “Pretty Bye Bye”. And Calvin Harris, who built an empire off of girly-ass EDM with massive, heart thumping drops, really switched gears quickly to house music. “How Deep Is Your Love” had him working with Disciples and Ina Wroldsen for a turn at UK pop house. His latest is “This is What You Came For” with one of his best vocalists of the girly-ass EDM era in Rihanna. This is every bit as girly, focused on the meeting between a girl who captures the attention of everyone who only wants you, but instead of the huge massive moment of “We Found Love,” we get a fake drop into a groove. Rihanna is such a great dance vocalist — you can practically have her emote any way that you want over production, and she moves along with the fake drop here, twisting and turning through the “you-oh-oh-oh”‘s. Harris will forever be known for his four huge singles on 18 Months and they remain his best work, but “This is What You Came For” will be effective as a summer of 2016 single, too.

Alfred Soto: Better than the average Harris production because he seems to have timed his swells to Rihanna, and she gives more evidence of her increasing command. 

Thomas Inskeep: I know Rihanna is “just” the featured vocalist on this, but she sounds like the Rihanna of old, the total anything-you-want cipher. Actually, she sounds even worse: like a generic EDM/pop female vocalist. I don’t hear any Rihanna in this, if you know what I mean. Doesn’t help matters that Harris doesn’t seem to know either how to write an interesting pop song anymore, what to do with Rihanna. This is a thudding disappointment.

Will Adams: On the surface, it’s a hard swerve after Anti, but given the proper track reshuffle, “This What You Came For” could fit in nicely with that album. Rihanna’s subtle performance is a delight; she dials back from typical dance music theatrics, which allows for really resonant moments, like how she nails the ache in “lightning strikes every time she moves.” Harris dials back as well, because they both acknowledge that it’s not going to be another “We Found Love.” But it doesn’t need to be.

Brad Shoup: It’s hard enough being the culture’s pre-eminent personality; I can’t imagine abdicating that role for a house-pop banger. Harris crimps and twists her vocal into the hook; she’s done him a major mercy.

Reader average: [6.38] (13 votes)

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2 Responses to “Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – This is What You Came For”


  2. ikr