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Album Review: Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

2 min read
Photo: Conor McDonnell/Sony Music Australia

Everything you need to know about Calvin Harris’ fifth studio album is right there on the cover.  Holiday, romance, as well as the promise of something spectacular and memorable.

Harris kicks of Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 with Slide, featuring Frank Ocean and Migos.  The track has a solemn opening that slips into a gentle dancing beat.  The result smoothly eases you into the album.

Going back to what he does best, Cash Out has such a strong 80’s influence you half expect your surroundings to transform into a world of big hair, psychedelic patterns, and platforms.  The funky, upbeat tune is perfect to dance to, which makes the piano at the end feel a little out of place.

The loving and good vibes continue with Heatstroke featuring Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, and Young Thug.  This captures the honeymoon period of any relationship – especially Grande’s refrain with Williams.  The irresistible beat will have your hips swaying in no time.

The urge to dance increases with Skrt on Me featuring Nicki Minaj.  If ever there was a song that would be perfect for the girls to choreograph a dance to before hitting the clubs, this would be it.  There is sadly again another shift in rhythm at the end of the song that seems to break up the flow of the album.

Summer mischief oozes out of Feels with Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean.  A fun beat bounces throughout the song, emanating a cheeky feel.

Things are slowed down a touch for Faking It.  This isn’t the healthiest love story, though it is undoubtedly very relatable.  The softer music portrays a much more intimate atmosphere.

Harris closes the album with Hard to Love, featuring Jessie Reyez.  Even more stripped back than the previous track, this song has an undeniable finality about it.  This serves as a cool down for an energetic album.