Following the success of 2010’s Loud, Rihanna was unsure of what her next release should be. At first, a re-release of that album was planned, with bonus tracks added, but was eventually scrapped in favor of totally new material. Rihanna tweeted that she felt fans deserve something “brand new” and thus Talk That Talk, the singer’s sixth studio album, got released the very next year.
No less than 6 singles were released off Talk That Talk, but only one of them managed to top the charts. We Found Love features Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, who is also responsible for the writing and producing of the song. As he himself admitted, the collaboration with Rihanna changed Harris’ career, who would go on releasing more successful songs such as Summer and Blame (featuring John Newman). Nicole Scherzinger was offered We Found Love first, but turned it down. She explained her reasons in an interview with Notion magazine: “I’ve got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time. They’d sent me a few dance tracks and I wasn’t able to get to them and I was like, ‘Oh there’s so much dance and I want to take a break from it’.”
Websites such as Pitchfork, Billboard and Allmusic highlighted We Found Love in their album reviews. Pitchfork stated that it ranks among Rihanna’s best singles and commented on the “We found love in a perfect place” lyric: “in three and a half minutes, the line moves from being a great pop lyric to a triumphant mantra to something suggestive of a whole spectrum of unspoken emotion”. They also described the beat as “Guetta-meets-Sandstorm”. Billboard called the same hook “gorgeous”, while Allmusic attributed the song’s success to “the singer’s ecstatic vocal”.