Scottish DJ Calvin Harris has finally released his new album titled ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1′. It’s unclear how many volumes we’ll get under this title, and whether smash hits like ‘My Way,’ This Is What You Came For’ and ‘How Deep Is Your Love,’ will feature on any of therm, or whether he’s leaving that for another project, or whether he’ll give them a home at all.
This album features the likes of Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams to name a few.
1. Slide (feat. Frank Ocean & Migos)
When Calvin released this back in February I must admit I wasn’t a fan initially. I couldn’t work out was what going on, and fast forward a few months and this song actually is rather good. I’ve changed my opinion. After a few listens it does start to pull at your ears and you can’t help but like it, although my opinion on the Migos bit hasn’t changed.
Rate /10: 8
2. Cash Out (feat. ScHoolboy Q, PARTYNEXTDOOR & D.R.A.M.)
Okay, so this is pretty funky. It’s like being a pimp and creating your own funk music. It has inspirations of like 90s RnB/Hip Hop and 70s Disco with added Calvin and the result is awesome. When I saw the feature I literally just thought this was going to be awful, as I assumed it would have just been rap all the way through and it would have gotten boring. I was so wrong. It’s actually, low key, a bop.
Rate /10: 8
3. Heatstroke (feat. Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande)
Just like ‘Slide,’ I underrated this song upon initial listening. Also since then it’s grown to become one of my favourite Calvin Harris songs. I still don’t rate Young Thug’s verses however, but everything else is bliss.
Rate /10: 8
4. Rollin (feat. Future & Khalid)
Meeeerrh. This one is literal snoozefest. There’s no real oomph to this one. Future’s verses are forgettable and Khalid seems to be the only real thing worth listening to on this, and even after 1 chorus it’s enough. I’m not entirely sure what Calvin’s vision for this song was but it doesn’t convey, nor is it enjoyable.
Rate /10: 4
5. Prayers Up (feat. Travis Scott & A-Trak)
…How do I start? Literally everything I have written about the previous track applies to this one. Travis brings literally nothing to the song, and you wouldn’t even notice A-Trak had he not been credited as the whole track sounds produced by Calvin. It was worth listening for around a minute.
Rate /10: 4
6. Holiday (feat. Snoop Dogg, John Legend & Takeoff)
Read 4 & 5.
Rate /10: 4
7. Skrt on Me (feat. Nicki Minaj)
Slightly disappointed with this one. Nicki has been known to make some amazing dance songs in the past, and of course so has Calvin so you’d think that the two together would be amazing. Wrong. It kind of reminds me of something from Mario Kart’s Peach Beach or something. The lyrics are boring, and there seems to be an ongoing trend with autotune. The song is mediocre at best.
Rate /10: 5
8. Feels (feat. Pharell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean)
‘Feels’ is very funk, and has Caribbean vibes. It has a very similar arrangement to ‘Heatstroke.’ Big Sean’s part is also very enjoyable unlike the last 3 songs where it was very rap majority. Sean has his own little breakdown and then it zooms right back into Katy’s very simple, but extremely heavenly little hook.The whole thing just picks you up right out of your day and transports you into a place of happiness where your layed in the sun and can just relax. It doesn’t literally do that so don’t sue. It has you grooving along at the very minute the beat drops and that’s what Calvin is, and should continue to be about. This is undoubtedly the best song on the album.
Rate /10: 8
9. Faking It (feat. Kehlani & Lil Yachty)
So this is actually pretty good. It is your usual Kehlani track, and again, had it not have Calvin’s name credited you wouldn’t have known that he was produced by him, but all the same, it’s actually really good. Lil Yachty’s verse is pretty awesome too. His lyrics are meaningful, and you can actually understand what he’s saying, so that’s a first. I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s amazing, but it’s good.
Rate /10: 7
10. Hard to Love (feat. Jessie Reyez)
This one’s a little more relaxed. Picture yourself in Cancún with a kiwi margarita then your with it. Again, it’s not the best, but it could be worse like some of the other songs on the album, it’s quite boring after a while so I guess you really need to be in the right frame of mind and as a closing song, I don’t think it quite deserves that title.
Rate /10: 6
Album percentage – 62%
The main thing I guess I wanted to ask myself, is Calvin Harris’ career taking a dive? I mean, this album by far has to be one of, if not the worst in his career. I also find myself making excuses like perhaps he’s in a place in his life where he wants to try something different, or he’s trying to keep up with a certain trend, but then I also find myself disproving these excuses in defending him. I want Calvin to do well, and I want him to release great music like he has down for over a decade now, but the harsh reality is, that recently he’s not been living up to those Calvin Harris standards.
I don’t think Calvin’s career is taking a dive, I just assume it’s a moment he’s having. Calvin was a trendsetter for so long in his career by releasing smash hit after smash hit, and it’s not even been a year since those 3 massive singles with Rihanna and the Disciples. I hope this is just a project that he was doing aside what he does best and just wanted to try something different, which of course, is fine but I can’t say it’s being recieved as well as what his other songs would.
Calvin is a really clever guy, and as mentioned in a review about him before, if he wanted to get a #1 smash hit single, he could indeed do so.
In terms of the album, I feel it’s very divided, you have your really bad songs, your mediocre songs, and then your really good songs, so I’m left stuck on the fence with the whole thing. Seeming as the album is titled with a volume 1, I can only assume will be a volume 2, and perhaps furthermore volumes. Perhaps volume 2 will really sway my decision on this era, but if I’m completely honest, if volume 2 never happens, I can’t say I will be devastated. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the future.
Kudos to Calvin for trying something different, but the whole thing literally is just average.
Favorite song? Feels
Is it worth buying? No