Posted by Gosia Mrugala
No introduction necessary. If you don’t know from CALVIN HARRIS, you’re not reading this blog. So let’s just dive in.
1. “Green Valley” – Well, that’s 1:49 of my life I’ll never get back. It’s interesting for the first 30 seconds, then continues without much change. Picture the soundtrack to a bad porn scene: not the most auspicious way to start an album.
2. “Bounce” – Here, Harris adds the soulful vocals of Kelis to a funky house track. I like this one, but can’t say I’m the biggest fan. Mostly, I suspect, because it’s been around for some time now and is simply overplayed.
3. “Feel So Close” – I absolutely fell in love with this track the first time I heard it, back at WEMF 2011. Definitely a successful prodution, and it’s no surprise that this became Harris’s first solo single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
While I’m still a fan of the original, I’ve gotta say: I am head-over-heels addicted to Nero‘s remix of this track. If you haven’t already heard it, you owe it to yourself to give a listen …
4. We Found Love – By now, I’ve heard this track once too often on the radio — and to be honest, I was never a fan. Just not my cup of tea, although I can see why it satisfies the ears of some EDM fans. The music video has earned quite a bit of criticism, and while it’s not the worst EDM video I’ve ever seen, you can’t exactly say it promotes positive lifestyle choices.
5. We’ll Be Coming Back – Don’t know what it is, but something about the vocals of English singer-rapper Example just appeals to my senses. This track starts nice and mellow, then kicks into a solid tempo. Definitely something you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, but at the same time clearly built to rock dancefloors from Ibiza to Iceland.
6. Mansion - VERY disappointed with Harris on this one. Cuz here’s a track that pulls me in within the first 10 seconds, and at 1:25 has me thinking of the rave scene from Blade … and then it ends just past the two-minutes mark. SERIOUSLY? This had the potential to be a nine-minute epic, but Harris decided to pull the plug and settle for a short, sweet banger. Why?
7. Iron – This track is infatuating — but the affair is short and sweet. At the end you get a nice buildup, and you’re waiting for a sick drop, and then … nothing. THUMBS DOWN to that. Over on Beatport you can buy the vastly superiour full five-minute version of “Iron.” Given the high expectations of his fans, I’m really not sure why Harris decided to put shortened versions of his tracks on this album. Not so nice!
8. I Need Your Love – Harris couldn’t have chosen a better vocalist than Ellie Goulding. Her voice works perfectly with his beats here. And yes, I did press repeat on this one.
9. Drinking From The Bottle – I’ll keep it short: not a fan of this one.
10. Sweet Nothing – I’ve always been a fan of Florence Welch, and her powerful voice works perfectly with Harris mellifluous style. This track has been one of Harris’ biggest successes, charting high just about everywhere from Ireland to New Zealand. Sweet — and definitely not nothing.
11. School – It’s got a soulful vibe and a funky, old-school feel to it. I’m a bit torn on this one: can’t say it’s a favourite, but there’s something to it, all right. Still, of all the short tracks on this album, it’s the only one I’m actually glad is short.
12. Here 2 China – Nope. Didn’t make it past the 20-second mark. Sorry, but no. Just doesn’t fit here.
13. Let’s Go – I remember watching the Euro 2012 tournament this past summer and being absolutely blown away by that Pepsi Max commercial. It was this track that made the spot such an attention-getter, and it more than stands on its own — though it’s Ne-Yo’s voice and the lyrics, more than the music itself, that make the whole thing so satisfying and impressive.
14. Awooga – Another impressive track, but again, too short. If you want to support Calvin Harris by purchasing his album, just know that you’ll be getting the truncated 3:51 version of this song. And maybe make a mental note that the full seven-minutes-plus version can be found over at Beatport for a more $1.49. Just sayin’. And let’s be honest: this track was meant to have some length to it. I’d put it along with “Mansion” and “Iron” as one of my favourites from the album.
15. Thinking About You – OK, the album may have started on a disappointing note, but I’d say it finishes admirably. I’m definitely “Thinking About” this album — though mostly what I’m thinking is that I have some seriously mixed feelings. Overall I’d rate it a success for Harris — but with some questionable odds and ends that make it less satisfying than it ought to be.