Since the release of the catchy ping-ponged chorused ‘Bounce’ featuring Kelis in April last year, we have waited over a year and a half for the full collection, prompting the album’s not so creative title 18 Months.
While achieving State-side acclaim with the chart-toppling ‘We Found Love’, which was a collaboration with Rihanna, Calvin Harris has remained faithful to the British heavyweights, working with Example to create the anthem ‘We’ll Be Coming Back’ and Florence (minus the Machine) on the throbbing floor-filler ‘Sweet Nothing’.
Calvin Harris’ use of lasers rivals any Bond villain, evident in ‘Awooga’. Keeping true to the unique Calvin Harris sound, this album runs the risk of sounding generic from ironically the very genre that the Scot created. Through following the familiar recipe of upbeat dance hooks and high-octane beats combined with synth, lasers and arcade sounds.
One of the more refreshing tracks on the album is his collaboration with Ellie Goulding on ‘I Need Your Love’. Her vulnerability and warmth juxtaposed with the Calvinesque beat is a breath of electro-free air. Dizzee Rascals’ ‘Here 2 China’ serves as a pastiche of the hit ‘Dance Wiv Me’ yet brings a bit of variety to the compilation with a layer grime and grit.
The downfall of this album is the simple fact that it fails to become anything more than a collection of singles, Harris does not embrace change and, save for ‘Feel So Close’, takes a back seat with the syrupy vocals which dominated his last album, AWOL.
In a Nutshell: Hook, line & sinker: Calvin Harris sticks to his successful formula.
By: Fionn Claffey