Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk”

Standard edition album cover

Released: November 21, 2011 (United States)

Label: Def Jam • SRP

Genre: Pop • dance • R&B

Producer: Alex da Kid • Mr. Bangladesh • Calvin Harris • Chase & Status • Cirkut • Da Internz • Dr. Luke • Ester Dean • Gareth McGrillen • Hit-Boy • No I.D. • Rob Swire • Stargate • The-Dream


Rihanna has had a positive chokehold on the music industry since the release of her debut album Music of the Sun. By 2011, Rihanna released 5 studio albums, and 10 number one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, tying with artists like Stevie Wonder & Janet Jackson.

Rihanna’s sixth studio album Talk That Talk was released on November 18, 2011. Recorded during Rihanna’s Loud tour, Talk That Talk was originally supposed to be a reissue of Loud, but Rihanna totally scraped that idea and wanted to come up with a new era.

Talk That Talk is an album with elements of dance, pop, R&B, hip hop, dubstep, electronic & house music, with themes revolving around a nihilist romantic and lascivious lover.

Talk That Talk peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 & number one on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts respectively, with first-week sales of 198,000 copies in the US. The album has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA & has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. That Rihanna reign just won’t let up!

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you: Rihanna’s Talk That Talk

You da One

Written by Ester Dean • Lukasz Gottwald • Robyn Fenty • John Hill • Henry Walter

The album begins with amazing You Da One, which has pop, reggae, dancehall, and house influences. You Da One has the singer expressing her excitement for a new relationship and shows signs of optimism. After songs in the past that address skepticism about love and relationships (Complicated, Cold Case Love, Fading, etc,) You Da One was a top 20 hit, peaking at number fourteen.

Where Have You Been

Written by Ester Dean • Lukasz Gottwald • Calvin Harris • Henry Walter • Geoff Mack

Where Have You Been is one of my favorite Rihanna records. The dance-pop record also has elements of trance, house, hip hop & R&B in it, and has the singer singing about having a man who satisfies and pleases her in any way possible. The song peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song contains an interpolation of Geoff Mack’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

We Found Love featuring Calvin Harris

Written by Calvin Harris

We found love in a hopeless place.

Rihanna, 2011.

We Found Love is a SONGGGGG! I remember where I was when the single dropped. I was in my first semester of college and freaked out when I saw the Queen was releasing another single. We Found Love is an uptempo electro house song with elements of dance, techno and europop.

From a lyrical perspective, We Found Love revolves around the lyric “We found love in a hopeless place.” If it is hopeless, then it is despairing and impossible to repair. The song was a huge success for Rihanna on the Hot 100 chart, giving the singer her eleventh number one single…tying her with Whitney Houston at the time. It was the longest running number one of 2011, and spent 10 non-consecutive weeks on the charts. We Found Love has been certified 9x platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

Talk That Talk featuring Jay-Z

Written by Ester Dean • Mikkel S. Eriksen • Tor Erik Hermansen • Shawn Carter • Anthony Best • Sean Combs • Carl Thompson • Christopher Wallace

Talk That Talk is an amazing banger that features frequent collaborator and mentor Jay-Z. I love it. Rihanna sounds confident and it sounds very similar to her 2010 single Rude Boy. Talk That Talk contains a sample of The Notorious B.I.G.’s I Got a Story to Tell.

Cockiness (Love It)

Written by Candice Pillay • Swayne Abernathy • Shondrae Crawford • Robyn Fenty

Cockiness (Love It) is a SONGGGGG! It’s definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. From a lyrical perspective, the song has the singer being a dominatrix, telling her lover what she desires and craves from them sexually and says boldly for the chorus “I love it, I love it, I love it when you eat it.” The dancehall and dubstep song contains a sample of Greg Kinnear’s performance of Summertime from the film Stuck on You.

Birthday Cake

Written by Terius Nash • Robyn Fenty • Marcos Palacios • Earnest Clark

Birthday Cake is another sexy record from the Bajan beauty. Although it is kind of like an interlude for the album, it counts as a single with the remix that features Chris Brown. The song was a top 40 hit, peaking at number twenty four and number four on the Billboard Hot 100 & R&B charts respectively.

We All Want Love

Written by Ester Dean • Ernest Wilson • Steve Wyreman • Kevin Randolph

We All Want Love is a ballad that has the singer yearning for a love that’s so amazing and stating that we all want to achieve that long lasting romance in our lives. Very underrated Rihanna record.

Drunk on Love

Written by Ester Dean • Mikkel S. Eriksen • Baria Qureshi • Romy Croft • Oliver Sim • Jamie Smith

Drunk on Love is a song that speaks in regards to the state of someone being drunk is a metaphor to love. Meaning that no matter if you’re a hopeless romantic, you’ll never be sober cause love will literally be having you craving it. The song contains a sample of The xx’s Intro.

Roc Me Out

Written by Ester Dean • Mikkel S. Eriksen • Tor Erik Hermansen • Rob Swire • Gareth McGrillen

Roc Me Out is a sensual and naughty record about the singer wanting her man to take control in the bedroom.

Watch n’ Learn

Written by Chauncey Hollis • Priscilla Renea • Alja Jackson • Robyn Fenty

I love when Rihanna gives us her dancehall roots on her records, and Watch n’ Learn is definitely one of them. With elements of reggae & soca, Watch N’ Learn has the singer who teaches her partner how to love her in the right way sexually.


Written by Ester Dean • Alexander Grant

The standard edition of the album closes with the anguished and sad ballad Farewell. From a lyrical perspective, the song has Rihanna saying her final goodbyes to a lover she doesn’t want to let go of.

Talk That Talk isn’t talked about enough when it comes to RIhanna’s albums. It is a good vibe, and was a great follow up to Loud. Definitely one of my favorites. -MW.

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