Calvin Harris a superstar DJ hailing from Dumfries in Scotland but he’s moved on from that small town lifestyle and is now living it up in sunny Los Angeles. The atmosphere he creates in this new album here is exactly that, LA funk tracks and summer anthems. His adamance to move on from the ever popular EDM sound is admirable and you get the sense he is now doing exactly what he wants to do. With that being said, does this star studded album with an embarrassment of riches in the feature department live up to the hype and will it be the soundtrack of your summer? Let’s find out with this review of ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1’.
The production is magnificent on this thing, every single track has glitz and glamour but also carries a chilled out vibe to it which can allow it to be played in family BBQs as well as banging club nights. Right from the off Calvin treats us to toe tappers and invention with the lead single ‘Slide’ in which the glory of the best is met with a stunning performance from this generation’s mastermind Frank Ocean. The standout beats on this project definitely come from the staggers and pulsators in his synthesisers, particularly on ‘Rollin’ and ‘Prayers Up’ and it is something I really hope Calvin continues to do in his future projects.
The features are colossal, with most of the biggest names in hip-hop jumping onto this album. 95% of the performances on here are thoroughly enjoyable too, whether it be the most unexpected surprises from the likes of Young Thug and Future, who shouldn’t fit the kind of instrumentals they’re put on, or the slick styles of Pharell Williams and Khalid who do themselves tremendous justice on their given beats. The star of the album has to be a toss-up between ScHoolboy Q and Travis Scott though, on their respective tracks ‘Cash Out’ and ‘Prayers Up’ as they set fire to some incredible instrumentals and give everyone summer anthems to enjoy. It’s not all perfect, however, as the verses from Lil Yachty and Nicki Minaj are somewhat underwhelming given the buzz around them as artists. I’ll forgive them both because of how great that Snoop Dogg song was, though.
Best three songs: Cash Out, Slide, Prayers Up
Worst three songs: Skrt On Me, Faking It, Hard To Love
This album is pure enjoyment from start to finish, creating exactly what the title suggests, funky anthems for us all to indulge into and vibe out to all summer long. Thank you so much Calvin for moving away from this brainless EDM sound and being daring enough to go down your own avenue, creating music that you want to make rather than what the label wants you to make. Calvin Harris has to be the number one DJ on the planet now after this, sorry Khaled it’s just facts bro.