wed 25/04/2018

CD: Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1 | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

CD: Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

Dance-pop kingpin has an easy-going time with his US megastar mates

A quick snap of where Calvin Harris's rich and beautiful friends live

“You can't hate on Harris, he is summer king,” says an anti-troll post on a thread announcing the fifth album by the 6’5” Scottish super-producer known to his mum as Adam Wiles. But it would be easy to do just that. Calvin Harris is one of the key people responsible for turning chart pop into earbud shite, for fast-forwarding dance music into compressed saccharine trop-house/EDM candy. He, Will.I.Am and David Guetta have fucked it for anyone who wants to turn on daytime radio and not hear plastic suburban dancefloor toilet.

In his 10-year career, Harris has become ubiquitous, worth tens of millions, in demand by the very biggest names in pop, and serial-dating attractive Heat mag superstars. He also seems smug and boring, a businessman to whom the dancefloor is money rather than somewhere you sweat. So, yes, he’s very dislikeable, but let’s try and listen without prejudice. There’s no denying Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is, indeed, very summery. And it has so many big American names on, from Snoop Dogg to Ariana Grande, that it’s a sonic celebrity ark.

On a scale from bacterial diarrhoea to whiffy cheese, Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1 is, happily, at the cheese end of things. And quite decent cheese at that, more Mark Ronson than Guetta in places. Most tracks here you can listen to without clenching your teeth together until they crack. “Feels” with Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean is likeably bubbling Caribbean froth, the Nicki Minaj one, “Skrt On Me” is carried along by her sass, “Cash Out” is persuasively funky; the closing slowies, “Faking It” and “Hard to Love”, especially the latter, with Canadian singer Jessie Reyez, have a certain hazy beachside charm. It’s slick and there’s too much Autotune but, in the context of Harris’s grinning spume, relatively palatable.

The closing line on the album is “That shit feels like some ego-trippin’ shit,” which sums it up. Yet in terms of pop with no ambition that showcases lots of rich entrepreneurs, it’s a decent effort.

Overleaf: Listen to "Skrt On Me" by Calvin Harris featuring Nicki Minaj

In the context of Harris’s grinning spume, it's relatively palatable


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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