Love on the Brain” was written and produced by Fred Ball, recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna for her eighth studio album, Anti (2016). Additional
writing of the song was done by Joseph Angel and Rihanna.
The song was sent to the US rhythmic contemporary and urban contemporary radio stations on September 27, 2016, as the album’s fourth and final single. “Love on the Brain” is a doo-wop and soul ballad inspired by 1950s and 1960s music.
Its instrumentation consists of a guitar arpeggio, swirling organ, a simple chord progression, syncopated strings, and orchestra. Lyrically, the song has themes of swinging back and forth between the highs and lows of toxic love.
“Love on the Brain” was the first song commissioned for Rihanna’s album Anti Written by Norwegian songwriter and producer Fred Ball and American songwriter Joseph Angel in late 2013, inspiration for the song came from Prince and Al Green.
Ball recalled, “We wanted it to have that juxtaposition of an old school soul feel with modern lyrics. That’s why Amy Winehouse was never pastiche or retro even though her music has an old soul sound.” Ball also stated that they did not write the song with Rihanna in mind, however, his manager at Roc Nation, Jay Brown, heard the song and loved it. Brown sent it to Rihanna and she also reacted similarly, writing additional lyrics.