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“Where Have You Been” by Rihanna

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    “Where Have You Been” by Rihanna (official video) is a dance song.

    Song Title: Where Have You Been (official video)
    Artist: Rihanna
    Album: Talk That Talk
    Genre: pop, dance, R&B, hip hop, house, techno, dance-pop
    Composer: Copyright © 2011 Ester Dean, Lukasz Gottwald, Calvin Harris, Geoff Mack
    Musical key: C minor
    Lead Vocals: Rihanna
    Producer: Dr. Luke, Cirkut, Calvin Harris, Kuk Harrell
    Recorded: 2011. Los Angeles, California, (Eightysevenfourteen Studios, Eyeknowasecret Studio)
    Released: May 21, 2012
    Label: Def Jam, SRP
    Number of listens: 33446

    U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #27, 23 weeks on chart, peak #5 (five)
    R&B/Hip-Hop: #64
    Pop: #15
    Latin: #33
    Radio Songs: #15
    Latin Pop: #37
    Canadian Hot 100: #31
     Billboard information for the week of Oct 6, 2012
     Billboard chart listings courtesy of Billboard Magazine

link to the static song information page for this song:

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    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Where Have You Been” is a song by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna, from her sixth studio album Talk That Talk (2011) serving as the fifth single. The song was written by Ester Dean, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, Henry “Cirkut” Walter, Geoff Mack, and Calvin Harris. Harris also produced the track alongside Dr. Luke and Cirkut. “Where Have You Been” was released as the third international single from the album on May 21, 2012. The track is a dance-pop and techno house song that draws influence from trance, R&B and hip hop. It is backed by “hard, chilly synths” and contains an electro-inspired breakdown sequence. The song’s lyrics speak of a woman who is searching for a partner who will please her.

    “Where Have You Been” was met with positive reviews from most music critics, who likened the song to Talk That Talk’s lead single, “We Found Love”. The track performed well on major international charts. In the United States, “Where Have You Been” reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Rihanna’s twenty-second top ten single on the chart. It also peaked at number one on both the US Hot Dance Club Songs and UK Dance Chart, and at number three on the US Pop Songs chart. In addition, it attained top five positions in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Israel, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, while peaking in the top ten of charts in twenty countries worldwide including Australia, Belgium and Norway.

    The song’s accompanying music video, directed by Dave Meyers depicts the singer in an assortment of costumes and locations, referencing the song’s lyrics. Rihanna is seen as a semi-naked water reptilian, in an Egyptian desert, an African themed hut, and channeling Hindu god Shiva with multiple limbs. The video received a positive response from critics, who praised Rihanna’s new approach to deeper choreography. Rihanna has performed the song on both Saturday Night Live and the finale of the eleventh season of American Idol. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.In 2013, rapper Flo Rida made a remix of the song.

Production and recording

    “Where Have You Been” was written by Ester Dean, Lukasz Gottwald, Calvin Harris, Henry Walter and Geoff Mack. Production of the song was handled by Gottwald under his production name Dr. Luke, Cirkut and Calvin Harris. The three were also responsible for the instrumentation and programming. It was recorded by Kuk Harrell and Marcus Tovar at Eightysevenfourteen Studios, Los Angeles, California and Eyeknowasecret Studio, Brentwood, California. Harrel and Tovar were also the vocals engineers and were assisted in the process by Jennifer Rosales. The engineers for the song in its entirety were Aubry “Big Juice” Delaine and Clint Gibbs. It was mixed by Serban Ghenea. “Where Have You Been” contains a sample of Geoff Mack’s song entitled “I’ve Been Everywhere”, and is credited as a co-writer on the song.

Composition and lyrics

    “Where Have You Been” is a dance-pop, techno, and dance song, which blends elements of R&B, hip-hop and house together. It also incorporates elements of trance music As noted by Mark Graham for VH1, the song features a “sweeping, trance-ish transition that will bowl over dancefloor denizens in clubs all over the world.” Randell Roberts for Los Angeles Times noted that “Rihanna wants her music to bang, and she does so by continuing to mine the connection between R&B, hip-hop and house.” Jon Caramanica for The New York Times stated that the song is on the “poppier side of house music.” The instrumentation is composed of “buzzy, burping electronics” and “hard, chilly synths.” It also features a “monstrous bass”, which will according to Graham “will make you want to trade in your factory-installed car speakers for a top-of-the-line sound system.”

    Rihanna sings about her desire and wish to find a man who is able to satisfy and please her in any way possible, singing “Where have you been all my li-i-i-i-i-fe” (sic). According to Robert Copsey for Digital Spy, it is when Rihanna performs this line that the instrumental changes into a “strobing trance section that ends in a synth-squelching breakdown.” Andy Kellam for AllMusic likened the song’s chorus to that of Adele “Rolling in the Deep”. Caramanica likened the tone of Rihanna’s vocals to that of English singer-songwriter Siouxsie Sioux as she performs the lines “I been everywhere, man/ looking for someone/ someone who can please me,/ Are you hiding from me yeah/ somewhere in the crowd?” “Where Have You Been” lasts for a duration of 4 minutes and 3 seconds, and it was composed in the key of C minor using common time and a moderate dance groove of 128 beats per minute; it follows a chord progression Cm–A♭–Cm–A♭ with a time signature of 4/4. Rihanna’s vocal range spans over one octave from the low note of B♭3 to the high note of C5 on the song.

Music video

    The music video for “Where Have You Been” was filmed on March 7, March 8, and March 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California and was directed by Dave Meyers. On the first day of filming, March 7, 2012, Rihanna tweeted: “Where Have You Been All My Life?”, with a picture of herself topless with her natural hair on the set of the music video. The video features choreography by Nadine “Hi-Hat” Ruffin, who has worked with Rihanna previously on her Grammy and BRIT Awards performances. She posted photos of her as a teaser for the video in her Facebook account, with one saying: “How much do you guys want to see the video?”. A day after she posted the photo, she released a behind-the-scenes footage of the video with the dance rehearsals for the video and afterwards the wardrobe fitting for the video shoot.

    “Because my schedule has always been so busy, it never allowed for us to spend time rehearsing and making up dance moves. I was never going to shoot this video if I couldn’t do choreography. Because it would be pretty pointless. It would be disappointing.”
—Rihanna talking about the choice to delve into choreography on the video.
    The video’s concept shows Rihanna travelling around various locations “looking for a male partner who will please her”. The video begins with a shot of flowing water which appears to be set in a dark swamp-like area. Rihanna’s head is then shown hovering above the water as she begins the first verse. She is then presented as a reptilian creature as part of her back is lifted above the water. Rihanna then exits the water, showing a scale ensemble, much like a reptile, which covers her breasts. As the bridge begins, a close up of Rihanna’s face is shown, half covered in a shawl, identical to the single cover. Choreography then begins as the singer is shown with a group of male dancers behind her, wearing tribal costumes in what appears to be an Egyptian desert. Rihanna dons a zebra-print outfit with oversized red trousers as she puts on a fast-paced routine against the backdrop of pyramids. Empty tree branches are shown, as well as a fire and a starry sky. Scenes of a nude Rihanna are intercut, holding a whip made of hair, while simultaneously covering her breasts.

    As the second verse begins, the singer is seen in an African hut lying on the floor, surrounded by female dancers. She performs on the floor, in one moment managing to put her leg over her head, before standing up and again, performing a dance routine. The performers are seen to make the shape of an eye, with Rihanna in the centre as the pupil. In this scene she wears a black lace ensemble with a new wild curly hairstyle. This is followed with the singer laying in a large birds’ nest and then goes back to the singer with her previous wild hairstyle, performing a complex dance routine with female dancers, this time with fluorescent green effects. The penultimate scene shows Rihanna in a long dress which lights up neon red, while the singer has sequins across her face. She then appears to channel Hindu god Shiva as multiple arms surround her body. In the final scene, Rihanna and her male background dancers seen previously, slowly descend back underwater into the swamp; Rihanna’s head completely submerges below the water.

    The video received 4.93 million hits in its first 24 hours. It received positive reviews from critics with many noting Rihanna’s indulgence into extended choreography. Kia Makarechi from The Huffington Post commented, “Rihanna doesn’t normally do extended dance scenes, so it’s interesting to see the singer go the path of the Britneys and Christinas before her and delve into some deeper choreography.” Amanda Dobbins from New York Magazine echoed the review stating, “Even though Rihanna is maybe not on a Beyoncé or Britney-circa-2000 level when it comes to the super-involved choreography, she at least leaves it all out on the floor.” Sarah Maloy of Billboard made note of the Hinduism imagery displayed in the video and made comparisons of the video’s distorted images to that of “We Found Love”. Nicole James of MTV praised the video stating that Rihanna “dances her ass off” and compared it to Jennifer Lopez’s video for “Waiting for Tonight”. The video received two MTV Video Music Award nominations, including Best Choreography Video and Best Visual Effects.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)


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