Towards the Sun (song)

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"Towards the Sun"
Towards the Sun cover.png
Single by Rihanna
from the album Home
ReleasedFebruary 24, 2015 (2015-02-24)
FormatDigital download
Genre
Length4:33
LabelWestbury Road
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Rihanna singles chronology
"FourFiveSeconds"
(2015)
"Towards the Sun"
(2015)
"Bitch Better Have My Money"
(2015)
Home singles chronology
"Towards the Sun"
(2015)
"Feel the Light"
(2015)

"Towards the Sun" is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna for the soundtrack to the 2015 film Home. The song premiered on BBC Radio 1 on February 24, 2015 and it was released for digital download as the soundtrack's lead single the same day though Westbury Road. The song was set to impact mainstream radio on March 17, 2015 however the radio release was cancelled. The song was written and produced by Tiago Carvalho and Gary Go, with an additional writing done by Rihanna.

"Towards the Sun" is a mid-tempo pop and R&B ballad and features positive and optimistic lyrics. Upon release "Towards the Sun" received positive reviews from music critics who praised Rihanna's vocals and compared the song to the works of the British band Coldplay and their 2012 collaboration with Rihanna, "Princess of China". Commercially the song was a moderate success peaking at seventy six on the UK Singles Chart and twenty two on the French singles chart.

Background[edit]

In June 2012, it was revealed that Rihanna would star as the lead role in the film Happy Smekday!, alongside American actor Jim Parsons. In September 2012, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation announced that the movie will be released for November 26, 2014.[1] In June 2013, the film was retitled from Happy Smekday! to Home.[2] In 2014, Variety magazine reported that, in addition to her voice role, Rihanna created a concept album for the film which was released on March 23, 2015.[3] It was later revealed that the film's soundtrack would also include songs recorded by Charli XCX, Kiesza and Jennifer Lopez.[4] "Towards the Sun" was written by Tiago Carvalho, Gary Go and Rihanna. Scott Mills premiered the song on BBC Radio 1 on February 24, 2015[5] and it was made available for digital download the same day via the iTunes Store.[6] It was supposed to impact US Top 40/Mainstream radio on March 17, 2015, however, its release was cancelled at the last minute.[7]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Towards the Sun" is a mid-tempo[8] pop[9] and R&B[4] ballad[10] with a length of four minutes and thirty-three seconds.[6] The single features "pounding" drums, sing-along lyrics, "gigantic" chorus, "layered harmonies", "swirling effects" and uplifting, positive lyrics.[10][11] Nolan Feeney of Time noted that the song features "children's choir and otherwordly [sic] atmospherics".[12] Andrew Trendell of Gigwise described as a "slow-burning stomper of a number, loaded with huge drums and arena backing vocals", further comparing it to the works of British band Coldplay.[5] Daniel Welsh of The Huffington Post UK agreed with Trendell about the Coldplay comparison and linked the song to the band's 2012 collaboration with Rihanna, "Princess of China".[10] Jason Lipshutz of Billboard compared the song's mid-tempo groove to the one on singer's 2012 single, "Diamonds".[13] New York Post's Jaclyn Hendricks noted that the song has more "livelier" production than Rihanna's previous single, her collaboration with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, "FourFiveSeconds" (2015).[8]

Madison Vain of Entertainment Weekly opined that the song is "anthemic" and more "whispier" than Rihanna's previous singles.[4] According to Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone the song is more optimistic and positive than her previous singles and albums which could be heard in the lines, "Turn your face towards the sun. Let the shadows fall behind you."[9] According to Welsh the song's lyrics are "seriously empowering" and "very dramatic stuff".[10] MTV News' Brenna Enrlich called the song "heroic" in which Rihanna is featured clearly singing to turn the face to the shadows and look at the sun.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Daniel Welsh of The Huffington Post UK praised "Towards the Sun"'s lyrics, its production, Rihanna's voice on the song and its chorus. According to him, "with the theatrical atmosphere of the track, we can imagine the chorus will sound particularly anthemic being sung by a stadium crowd."[10] Spin's Brennan Carley called the song "bombastic" and also praised its chorus and the "anthemic" nature.[15] Trendell noted, "The result is no less than epic and triumphant. Expect this to soundtrack many a victory this summer."[5] Spanos praised Rihanna's falsetto on the song and called the track "epic" and "empowering".[9]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Home.[16]

Locations
  • Recorded at The Canvas Room, London
  • Mixed at Larabee Studios, North Hollywood, Los Angeles
Personnel
  • Lead vocals – Rihanna
  • Songwriting – Tiago Carvalho, Gary Go, Robyn Fenty
  • Production – Tiago
  • Co-production – Gary Go
  • Additional vocals and Instrumentation – Tiago, Gary Go
  • Choir – Ifield Community College Choir
  • Choir Master – Patrick Allen
  • Engineer – Andreas Eide Larsen
  • Assistant engineer – B.B. Banks
  • Vocal production – Kuk Harrell
  • Recording – Marcos Tovar, Kuk Harrell
  • Mixing – Manny Marroquin
  • Assistant mixing – Chris Galland, Jeff Jackson, Ike Schultz

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[17] 56
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[18] 32
France (SNEP)[19] 22
Russia Airplay (Tophit)[20] 141
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[21] 42
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[22] 52
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[23] 45
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24] 76
US Kid Digital Songs (Billboard)[25] 1

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Australia February 24, 2015 Digital download Westbury Road [26]
Canada [6]
France [27]
Germany [28]
Ireland [29]
Italy [30]
New Zealand [31]
Spain [32]
United Kingdom [33]
United States [34]
United Kingdom March 2, 2015 Mainstream radio [35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DreamWorks Animation (September 9, 2012). "New Distributor Twentieth Century Fox Unveils DreamWorks Animation's Release Slate Through 2016". DreamWorks Animation. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  2. ^ "Movie Title Changes". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  3. ^ Graser, Marc (February 25, 2014). "Rihanna to Make Concept Album for Upcoming Animated Movie". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Vain, Madison (February 24, 2015). "Hear Rihanna's 'Towards the Sun' from the movie Home". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Trendell, Andrew (February 24, 2015). "Rihanna returns with new single 'Towards The Sun'". Gigwise. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Music — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single by Rihanna". iTunes Store (CA). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  7. ^ "Impacting Songs: March 17, 2015". All Access Media Group Ltd. Archived from the original on April 8, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Hendricks, Jaclyn (February 24, 2015). "Rihanna drops new song, 'Towards the Sun'". New York Post. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Spanos, Brittany (February 24, 2015). "Rihanna Looks 'Towards the Sun' in New Song for Animated Film". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e Welsh, Daniel (February 24, 2015). "Rihanna's New Song 'Towards The Sun': Five Things About Her New Track, Taken From The 'Home' Soundtrack". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  11. ^ Hughes, Josiah (February 24, 2015). "Rihanna 'Towards the Sun'". Exclaim!. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Feeney, Nolan (February 24, 2015). "Hear Rihanna's New Song 'Towards the Sun' from the Movie Home". Time. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (February 24, 2015). "Rihanna Releases 'Towards the Sun' Single From 'Home' Soundtrack". Billboard. New York. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  14. ^ Enrlich, Brenna (February 24, 2015). "Rihanna Gives Us Light With 'Towards The Sun'". MTV News. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  15. ^ Carley, Brennan (February 24, 2015). "Hear Rihanna's Bombastic New Soundtrack Single, 'Towards the Sun'". Spin. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  16. ^ Home (liner notes). Rihanna & Various artists. Westbury Road, Roc Nation. 2015.CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rihanna – Towards the Sun" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rihanna – Towards the Sun" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – Rihanna – Towards the Sun" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "Chart Search". Tophit for Rihanna. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  21. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  22. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201518 into search. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  23. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Rihanna – Towards the Sun" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  25. ^ "Kid Digital Songs: March 14, 2015". March 14, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  26. ^ "Music — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single by Rihanna". iTunes Store (AU). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  27. ^ "Musique — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single par Rihanna" (in French). iTunes Store (FR). Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  28. ^ "Musik — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single von Rihanna" (in German). iTunes Store (DE). Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  29. ^ "Music — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single by Rihanna". iTunes Store (IE). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  30. ^ "Musica — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single di Rihanna" (in Italian). iTunes Store (IE). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  31. ^ "Music — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single by Rihanna". iTunes Store (NZ). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  32. ^ "Musica — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single di Rihanna" (in Spanish). iTunes Store (ES). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  33. ^ "Music — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single by Rihanna". iTunes Store (GB). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  34. ^ "Music — Towards the Sun (From The 'Home' Soundtrack) - Single by Rihanna". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  35. ^ "BBC - Radio 1 Playlist". BBC Online. Archived from the original on March 3, 2015.

External links[edit]