Track 8: “Drunk On Love”
Sounds Like: The Talk That Talk track that samples the xx’s “Intro.” (Tangent: Anyone wanna take on the task of wading through the YouTube comments to see whether there are more angry xx fans or angry Rihanna fans? This track makes everyone so mad! It shouldn’t!) Anyway, one of the lyrics is “I wear my heart on my sleeve,” and so does this; the xx’s brief intro is turned here into a huge power ballad. The percussion is huge, the atmospherics are heavy, and everything’s more-than-slightly emo.
Pros: “Drunk On Love” is basically one big slab of melodrama, but damn it, it works. Sure, the xx sample does most of the heavy drifting here, but it’s well-used–notice how the vocals of the original become backing vocals for Rihanna with almost no adulteration.
Cons: This track doesn’t start quiet and build to its bombast; it starts out medium and ends up past bombast. Not much on Talk That Talk is subtle, but you could call this overblown even by the album’s standards. Also: Rihanna doesn’t sound drunk. Neither of these detract much.
Hard-R Lyric: “I love the way you taste on my lips when we kiss.” That’s a PG-13 lyric at best, but you can either have lovelorn drama or filth, not both. That is to say, you can have both (c.f. JoJo’s “Marvin’s Room“), but that requires the sort of finesse “Drunk on Love” has already blasted to pieces.
Single-Worthy? This is probably going to be relegated to “interesting album track”–as much of an album track as Rihanna’s ever made, that is. Rihanna isn’t remembered for the likes of “Unfaithful” or “Take a Bow.” It’s still good.