Drop a techno beat and hire a famous singer to throw in some lyrics, and you've got a number one single. That's how DJ Calvin Harris does it, anyway.
With a title characterized by how long some of his songs have already been out, Calvin Harris debuts his new album, "18 Months." Despite the fact that "Feel So Close" and "We Found Love" — made famous by Rihanna — are already familiar and semi-old, Harris is kind of a genius. "Feel So Close" is one of the only songs Harris sings on the album, and it is one of the most successful, showing evidence that he should sing more.
Harris begins his album with a preview of his disc jockey skills in "Green Valley." Starting the album in that way sends the message that his beats are the focal point. Sadly, the beat is monotonous without any vocals behind it. The following track, "Bounce," which features Kelis, is a total let down too, because the vocals just don't match his sound medley.
On a brighter note, the aforementioned single "We Found Love" is Harris at his finest. His tunes are catchy and unique in structure. This single, followed by "Iron," is the beginning of fist pumping beats and climactic compositions. Not only is the album a new wave of pop-style music, but it also features talented artists like Ellie Goulding, Example, Kelis and Florence Welch.
Credit must be given to Harris for his song "Sweet Nothing," which features Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine. The music is engaging and Florence shines as usual with her flawless, haunting voice. The song is pure genius in every aspect. It's one of the highlights of the entire album.
The next song, "School," is a Daft Punk version of elevator music. However, the catchiness of the song is overwhelmingly entrancing to the ears. Had Harris added any lyrics whatsoever it would have been a disaster, which again shows Harris's genius.
As one of the last songs, "Here 2 China" catches the listener off-guard. The beat of Harris and Dillon Francis is paired with the rap stylings of Dizzee Rascal. The song should be a huge dance hit at parties and clubs. Though the lyrics aren't original or meaningful, the song follows mainstream radio closely. It certainly holds its own among the many pop songs being played today.
Ne-Yo sings "Let's Go" on the album, a hit that has been played on the radio and TV for a while now. Having a popular artist like Ne-Yo singing is probably a wise choice for Harris considering the fact that some of the other songs are lack-luster. With Ne-Yo's smooth vocals, the song is only fit for the dance floor.
The last track, "Thinking About You," gives the spotlight to the lesser-known Ayah Marar. The beat is similar to a 1990s workout song, but Ayah saves the song with her naturally good singing voice.
So overall, Calvin Harris gives the world a nice dance album to enjoy. With competition from David Guetta, he is sure to produce even better material in the future.