Track 10: “Watch ‘N’ Learn”
Sounds Like: The most lighthearted track off Talk That Talk that hasn’t yet been released as a single. “Watch ‘N’ Learn” could almost be called sunny, with slight percussion taps, clicks in the background and sass in Rihanna’s vocals. Producer Hit-Boy brings some of the same bass he set beneath the Throne to this track as well, but it’s nowhere near as heavy.
Pros: It’s nice to hear some levity from Talk That Talk and looseness to Ri’s voice, even more so considering its counterpart on Loud, “What’s My Name,” was saddled with an unnecessary Drake verse. If for some reason you’re listening to Talk That Talk all the way through instead of as disparate singles (yes, Navy, we know you’ve done that ten times by now, but let’s not kid ourselves about how most others are going to hear the album), it’s a welcome respite from the bog of heavier ballads.
Cons: Notice how often we’ve said “light” or synonyms for that? You can call “Watch ‘N’ Learn” lighthearted, but you could equally plausibly call it lightweight. The bridge is far too saccharine, too, without much reason; it sounds tacked on from a discarded track.
Hard-R Lyric: For content, “I’mma do it do it do it, on the bed on the floor on the couch”; for implications, “Don’t ask me if you were the first to sleep here, ’cause if he did, you wouldn’t even be here.” (Harsh, but warranted–that’s kind of a douchey comment on his part, no?)
Single-Worthy? No. Not only is “Watch ‘N’ Learn” buried on the album just before “Farewell,” but it’s too middling. It’s neither the dirtiest nor danciest off the album, neither a banger nor a ballad. This isn’t filler, per se, but you’d hardly call it a standout. But if Rihanna ever decides to root about for single #8….