Friday, August 14, 2009



Ready For The Weekend is the second album from Scottish Electronic artist Calvin Harris. Known for making appealing Electro-pop tunes with catchy if somewhat obvious lyrics and never in danger of taking themselves too seriously; Harris' music is designed to get you dancing more and thinking less.

Everyone's heard I'm Not Alone by now, arguably the most impressive song Harris has created and with its fair share of commercial success, which is in this case definitely warranted. However those hoping for an album of I'm Not Alones will be disappointed. I count myself among them.

The opening track, The Rain certainly starts on a high note, kicking off immediately with a rising synth line that leads straight into a saxophone solo that is sure to impress. The sax then breaks apart into a thumping beat with layers of high pitched whirring. The chorus, destined to be sung-along-to at the top of everyone's lungs on dancefloors all over the world before too long, is one of the strongest on the album, so savor it.

Next up is the title track and second single from the album, Ready For The Weekend. I really want to like it, I do, but the vocal work really comes across as irritating. It's not so much Harris here, the auto-tuned pre-chorus is actually quite appealing. It's the chorus itself that really brings the track down. There are two things that we thankfully no longer have to deal with now that the 90's are over: People wearing baseball caps backwards and Tina Turner-channeling female vocalists in electro tracks. So why the hell is Calvin Harris dragging this shit kicking and screaming from its grave and into the middle of the track that is intended to define his whole album's manifesto?

The rest of the album seems to be created in Ready For The Weekend's image, rather than I'm Not Alone's. It really is a bit of shame because this album really had so much potential for greatness. Flashback serves as double-edged sword, undeniable in its quality but also a disheartening indication of what could have been, if only Harris maintained the strength established by the first single's established mood and style.

Tracks like Worst Day almost hit the target, but don't quite make it, with some rather awkward parts, such as the Flight Of The Conchords sound-alike first verse. The rap bridge, thankfully not attempted by Harris himself, serves as an interesting contrast against the rest of the album and the chorus is quite strong, it's just falls a small, albeit noticeable distance short.

Limits is a pleasant surprise, with Harris' filtered vocal work really coming out well. The similarly altered backing vocals create effective levels of interest, and the symbiosis of the beat and the lyrics ties the whole thing nicely together. The track has a very jittery robotic feel to it.

Those looking for Dance Wiv Me, last year's incredibly popular one-time collaboration between Harris, Dizzee Rascal and Chrome, will find it here too. Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La, the track famously used in a recent Coca-Cola commercial, is a definite nod to the sound and styling of Harris' debut I Created Disco; incredibly catchy and well worth a listen.

For a second effort, Calvin Harris could have done a hell of a lot worse. It's not so much that the tracks are bad, they just aren't amazing. It almost feels like Harris is playing it safe at times, when he should really be pushing the boundaries. The tracks lack character, and at times sound very similar to those adjacent.

Is it worth your money? Short answer yes. In the long term however I can see this album becoming rather disposable. Buy it now, have your fun with it, and join me in waiting for the next album I guess.



The Rain - Calvin Harris

Ready For The Weekend is out everywhere August 16th.


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