Album review: “Motion” by Calvin Harris
November 17, 2014
Though Calvin Harris risks his status as, according to Forbes, the highest-paid DJ when he collaborates with less popular artists on his Nov. 3 album Motion, he creates entrancing beats and anthems to rule listeners’ ears.
Once a worker in a fish factory, Harris, born as Adam Richard Wiles in Dumfries, Scotland in 1984, fell in love with electronic music when he was a teenager, according to Stewart Mason, writer for allmusic.com.
After collaborating with Rihanna and first grasping American stardom on her 2011 single “We Found Love,” Harris released 2012’s 18 Months, an album featuring artists ranging from Ellie Goulding to Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch. “Feel So Close” ruled the radio waves and my own speakers for quite a while because of its fresh, vintage guitar-sound and Harris’ deep, rich drawl.
After rising to stardom with his third studio album, I was skeptical as to how Harris could possibly create another album as successful as 18 Months. Motion proved me completely wrong.
“Summer” has a funky, dreamy feel that compels listeners to daydream about romantic rendezvous in the midst of heat, vacations and partying. When the single was released in March, I couldn’t help myself but drape my eyes closed and let my mind melt into Summer.
After such an outstanding, ear-catching single, “Blame” featuring John Newman rose out of nowhere and took over music charts. Newman’s unique voice robotically climbs through sound waves to move listeners to jumping and pumping their fists along to the beat.
Although sprinkled with occasional f-bombs, “Dollar Signs” featuring Tinashé shines through with its trippy electronic flares and memorable lyrics. Other exemplary songs on the album include “Under Control” with Alesso and featuring Hurts, “Faith” and “Pray to God” featuring Haim.
Even the highest paid DJ in the world makes mistakes. Songs like “Burnin’,” “Overdrive” and “It Was You” all sound like tracks created in the bedroom of a teenager with little experience. The Ellie Goulding-flecked track “Outside” sounds like a mix of their song from 18 Months, “I Need Your Love.” When one of the first lines of “Open Wide” is Big Sean blatantly saying “let me see how big your mouth is,” I am immediately compelled to not have any other interest in the song because of its utter stupidity, which is also not a very original one at that.
Although Calvin Harris doesn’t stray far from his past album, he flexes his originality muscles on his fourth album and succeeds when he does so. Overall, Harris has developed an album for mainstream and alternative electronic music listeners alike and crafted a captivating compilation of tracks with Motion.