I used to be a huge fan of Calvin’s, way back in 2007 when he released I Created Disco, filled with classic tracks such as The Girls and Acceptable In The 80s. I was captured by his unique sound, almost a mash-up of acid and disco. He followed up with Ready For The Weekend in which his sound underwent a massive transformation, moving towards more popular dance – but it was still very obviously Harris. 18 Months, his third studio album, was so different that, apart from one song (Feel So Close) you would have had no idea he had anything to do with the album.
This brings us onto Motion. Opening track, Faith, and the huge hitting festival anthem, Summer, are the only two songs on which Calvin has any vocal presence. The rest are filled with features and Harris is merely the sound engineer, making sure that his guest vocalists are in tune (a big job in fairness, as Outside features Ellie Goulding).
It’s evident that Harris has sold out and become so influenced by the uprising of EDM that he is now completely unrecognisable. His music has gone so mainstream it’s ridiculous – the five biggest singles from his first two albums have combined YouTube hits of about 33.5 million (they have been online for a minimum of three years). On the other hand, Summer has been online for seven months and has already been viewed approximately 310 million times. Blame, uploaded one month ago, has already reached 57 million hits. Well done Calvin, you ruined your music but at least you’re now rolling in cash.
The album is full of big basslines, repetitive drops, and everything else that comes as standard with artists that play at Ultra Music Festival; Harris brings nothing special to the table. We get slight glimpses of the ‘old’ Harris in Slow Acid, where he feels creative enough to put some effects over synths, instead of just borrowing Hardwell’s pre-sets. Open Wide, featuring Big Sean (a collaboration that just doesn’t work), has an identical introduction to Summer. I’m trying to find some positives with this album and the only one I can come up with is that it would be good in the gym or on a run, but even then you would have to take some tracks out. Overdrive, featuring Ummet Ozcan, is just a disgusting piece of music, and as previously mentioned Open Wide is also a disaster.
I’m sure Harris now lives up to ‘getting all the girls’ (as he claimed to back in 2007). He has since been voted 11th on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs, and is also the world’s highest paid DJ according to Forbes. There’s no denying that both of these are good achievements – it’s just a shame that it’s all come from making terrible music.
Picks:Summer, Under Control