With a free three month’s trial of Apple Music, I thought I would make use of it by listening to the latest albums out at the moment. If you think I should make this a regular feature for the next few months, then let me know. But for this post, I review Calvin Harris latest album, Motion.
The album starts well with the track, Faith. For this song, Calvin Harris provides vocals and creates a euphoric opening to Motion.
Then, in the track listing, Harris is quick to offload all of the well-known songs from the album such as Under Control, Blame, Summer and Outside. After listening the album, I then realised that it was these collaborations and vocal tracks which really demonstrate Calvin Harris’ talents. However, this excludes Harris’ collaboration with Big Sean on the track, Open Wide. Whilst the track boasts a ‘hypnotic’, almost guitar-like melody, the track soon becomes mundane and repetitive later on.
Additionally, when listening to Slow Acid, the improvised ‘musical jam’ can be commended in sections of the song, but the track cannot compare to vocal tracks such as Summer and Outside which were both huge chart successes come their release.
As well as this, Slow Acid isn’t a great attempt at a ‘musical jam’, with cranky echo effects and cliché vocal samples making the song seem rushed. Throughout the track, and even the entire album, there’s a sense that this album was an opportunity for Harris to experiment with different styles of dance music.
But perhaps the album’s title, Motion, is a reference to this idea? If so, whilst it is always good for DJs to explore new styles of music, it’s not so good for the fans who are unable to predict Calvin Harris’ style of dance music.
With Avicii’s debut album True being branded as a country-dance mix, and emerging DJ Kygo’s style being exotic synth melodies, dance fans today are quick to pigeon-hole DJs into sub-genres within the dance scene. For that reason, Harris’ next release should see him adopt a style that will make him stand out in what already is a competitive and busy genre of music.
A somewhat experimental album by Calvin Harris, Motion sees the DJ take risks as he explores numerous dance styles throughout. But whilst tracks such as Summer, Outside and Blame demonstrates Harris’ talents, the album becomes repetitive in its second half.
Overall, the latest album from Calvin Harris will appeal to fans of all types of dance music, but will leave them disappointed at the album as a whole.
Rating: 3 out of 5
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