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Calvin Harris

  • I Created Disco
  • Ready For The Weekend

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    Calvin Harris

    I Created Disco 4 ( 2007 )
    Merrymaking At My Place / Colours / This Is The Industry / Girls / Acceptable In The 80s / Neon Rocks / Traffic Cops / Vegas / I Created Disco / Disco Heat / Vault Character / Certified / Love Souvenir / Electro Man

    I could be really offensive and say this electro pop album is music for morons who only like this music because some other moron told them to. I could also say that Calvin Harris has played virtually every festival on earth, released a couple of singles that have done reasonably well and doesn't actually claim to have created disco. He's being ironic. Or was it tongue-in-cheek? Anyway, Calvin Harris, as his song 'Acceptable In The 80s' hints at, is trying to recapture, as many are, that period for a couple of three years in the early eighties when blokes stood still onstage and played keyboards for a living. Calvin Harris by the way is twenty three years old. By my calculation, when Human League were releasing 'Dare', I was only eight years old. Calvin Harris had yet to be born. By the time The Pet Shop Boys released their debut album, I was about to start secondary school, Calvin Harris had just been born. Lucky world. Purely and simply, this is music for going out to rather than music to listen to. Whereas LCD Soundsystem make records you can listen AND dance to, Calvin Harris makes music for the dancefloor, where a lyric such as 'I got all the girls, I got all the girls, I got all the girls' will no doubt go down a treat. Human League, Thomas Dolby, etc, etc - wrote tunes. Calvin Harris doesn't write tunes so much as write riffs on his keyboards. There are very few memorable songs as such here, songs which if took apart and transposed to acoustic guitar, would still stand up. Well, you might feel silly singing 'Don't You Want Me' by The Human League' on acoustic guitar, but the tune would survive. Even the admittedly enjoyable likes of 'Acceptable In The 80s' doesn't have a tune. How could you play this on acoustic? How stupid would the songs combined total of around three different sentences that pass for lyrics sound?

    'Vegas' sees Calvin take off his own 'Acceptable In The 80s', the title track sounds like it was composed by a fourteen year old on a Commodore Amiga computer, remember them? You'd have some spotty kid fumbling around creating a few basic beats dreaming of being on the radio. Step forward Mr Calvin Harris! These tunes have such long introductions as well, what's that all about? You're bored before the vocals even come in, surely some kind of mistake? 'Merry Making At My Place' is one of the finer songs here outside of the two admittedly catchy singles, even though it seems to have borrowed a great deal of its ideas, if not execution, from the superior LCD Soundsystem. At least Calvin remembers to pack in a bass line this time around. Other highlights? Well, it's difficult to think of any. Too little distinguishes one tune from the next and obviously, i'm using the word 'tune' lightly. 'This Is The Industry' I suppose with a fair wind could follow the two hits into the charts. It's the exact same formula, after all.

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    Readers Comments

    You B******! I was gonna mention the LCD Soundsystem comparison to "Merrymaking at my place" in my wee review, ah well. Least you know I havn't knicked it from you, I promise! Obviously this isn't LCD Soundsystem (what recent electro-other genre can compare?) but its fun you know 4/10 is needlessly harsh. You better have a dance-soul :P. Keep up the good work.

    I haven't heard the album, and I don't particularly like his music, but I did see Calvin Harris perform on the BBC coverage of Glastonbury: it was an acoustic version (just him and a bloke with a guitar) of "The Girls". And it worked, really well.

    Anthony Milas New Zealand
    Hey there, I have never heard any Calvin Harris, nor do I have any idea who you yourself are. :) However, I found your review of his album by chance and skimmed over it. I notice you mentioned the songs have very long intro's. As I understand it, this is a dance music album. Most pieces of dance music, for practical reasons, have very long intro's. This is so that the DJ playing them at a gig has enough time to queue up the track in headphones and synchronise it with the track currently being played and then, after spending a minute or so doing this, they are ready to "drop" the track live into the mix coming out of the PA (its only at this point that the punters hear the new track). Basically what it means is that most dance music doesn't actually "begin" until about 1 - 1:30 into the track (I know all this because I sometimes make dance music). This is with the exception of the Radio & Music Video versions of popular dance music tracks, which tend to have! the long intro (and outro) edited off. Just thought I'd explain that, if its any help! Cheers.

    Eric Jones USA
    Ok. I'm blown away that you even critique music. Everything you focused on in your review was very short of even making a point. Yes he [Calvin Harris] is 23 years old and he obviously wasn't around for the actual "disco" period. "I Created DIsco" is his album's complete theme. You are so "moron"-ically critical that you probably think LCD's album "Sound of Silver" was only created with instruments made of silver metal! HA!With that said, I don't understand why you think you have a great sense of music history, knowledge and intuition. You rank LCD SoundSystem as superior and being in the heavens, but let's be honest. Aside from "Tribulations" & "Yeah (Pretentious Version)" which are both awesome; the only really good songs that remain are "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House," and "Disco Infiltrator" which repeat as much as any of CH's music. So basically you favor LCD and have a completely biased review of CH's album and that's not what critics do, so just sto! p it. Do everyone in the world who actually knows music, enjoys music and honestly can critique the important elements of a new album from an artist a favor and listen to these tracks:1) Merrymaking At My Place2) Acceptable In The 80's3) Disco Heat4) VegasListen to these four tracks straight. If you don't bump your head in the least, then you need to do some soul searching for a new subject for your precious blog. BTW - People who support Calvin Harris aren't morons. Morons are people with annoying blogs that don't know how to have fun...Cheers...

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    Ready For The Weekend ( 2009 )
    The Rain / Ready for the Weekend / Stars Come Out / You Used To Hold Me / Blue / I'm Not Alone / Flashback / Worst Day (feat. Izza Kizza) / Relax / Limits / Burns Night / Yeah Yeah Yeah, La La La / Dance Wiv Me (feat. Dizzee Rascal

    Calvin Harris isn't a popular figure among music critics and vice versa, Calvin recently coming out admitting he'd been hurt by the savage reviews for this, his second album. In truth 'Ready For The Weekend' is so far advanced from his one dimensional debut as to almost be the work of a different man. This is pure party-disco music and very well produced and created party disco, at that Sure, you won't find political commentary or any soul-searching. Then again, Calvin isn't really that kind of artist. Here he takes the maligned late 90s house scene and gives it a modern twist. The tunes are all well constructed and the only weak points really, for what the album is trying to acheive, are the vocals of Mr Harris himself. The title track however has vocals by a female singer, 'Dance Wiv Me' is a collaboration with Dizzee Rascal and other tracks benefit from either guest vocals or processed Calvin Harris vocals where his limitatations in this area are swept a little to the side. The title track is very happy and almost impossible to resist, even the most ardent gothic Joy Division fan should forget their predjudices and dance. It's easier to admit to liking Calvin Harris in a field full of dancing people I guess, rather than in scary black and white words printed on the internet or in a music magazine.

    The trance sounds that permeate the rather weak single 'I'm Not Alone' irritate, 'Flashback' could also be a single, it's simple and dumb enough without being quite silly enough for my liking. In truth, Calvin Harris best work is where he sits in the background and acts as producer, hence the marvellous 'Dance Wiv Me' with the popular recording artist Dizzee Rascal. Well' 'Worst Day [Ft Izza Kizza] has the most cliched lyrics on earth yet Harris obvious genuine love for this music overcomes such limitations to present a fresh and fun sounding dance track.

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    this page last updated 19/09/10

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