Album review: Calvin Harris - I created disco

Album review: Calvin Harris - I created Disco
To say you created disco is a pretty bold statement. Especially when disco had shuffled 'n thrusted itself into the world long before you were born. The title is silly and tongue in cheek though. Silly being the key word; as silly is what most of the songs on I created disco are, not to mention that the album is void of disco altogether. But for all the silliness, comes an equal amount of talent and accessibility, which is what makes the guy from that small place town in Scotland's album so cool and a little bit special.

Part of Calvin's accessibility is that his songs are all about seemingly normal things, at least for the most part. The album rolls out "Merrymaking at my place" first. A funky little number in which Calvin sings about a house party in which random people start turning up through the front and back door, and begin necking some beer and substances. Just another weekend in the life of an 18 year old social butterfly and university student then! The song's charm is that the beat is so funky and laid back. Probably the effect of said drug taking and merry making. "Colours" has Calvin singing about how he likes girls with colours in their hair. And "Acceptable in the 80's" (a song most of us have probably heard at least once) has Calvin declaring how much he loves the 80's over backdrop of warbled synths, digital wails and a repetition of kicks and hand claps. It's a song you can't help but like. Everyone who had heard it when it first came out is probably sick of it now, but will still sway to it whenever they hear it. Then you have "The girls". Which is probably the most conventional song on the album in terms of it featuring a standard song structure, as opposed to a long instrumental and then 1 line which gets repeated over and over. Here we have Calvin declaring he gets all the girls. The most anthemic song on the album with a great hook that boys and girls alike will love. Guys can sing along declaring they get all the girls...even if they don't. "Vegas" is all about taking a road trip to Vegas with money, narcotics a couple of chicas and an open mind to have a good time. With Calvin in full on high pitch wail mode over his now signature sound. This is part of Calvin's charm. He ropes you in with stuff that you can relate with on some level, even if it's from an outsiders or a voyeuristic perspective.

These fun, relatable, high energy songs make a great first half to the album. But as things play on the album begins to lose steam, with only the funky as f**k "Vegas" really sticking out. From the start to the middle, the album is full of catchy beats, quirky 1 liners and a retro pop charm that is undeniable. But you do tend to get bored mid way through. A shame, as some of the more experimental songs that deviate from the Calvin Harris norm are stuck within the album's last couple of tracks - which means that you may switch off before you reach them, thinking the album won't get much better.

What shines about I created disco is the production. Calvin is actually pretty good at it. In fact, he's damn good at it! His music is so catchy and it's a testament to his production that he can craft a piece of music with no vocals which can capture your attention for the duration. Most of the songs go on for at least a minute before there is any singing, and before Calvin even opens his mouth you're hooked on the music. The easiest slot to pigeon hole his music under would undoubtedly be pop. But the lines do blur on several songs. "Merrymaking at my place" has heavy funk influences. "Certified" charms with it's middle eastern, almost R&B vibes. "Love souvenir" woo's and it's throwback soul. There's a wider range of musical styles on the album than the singles would have you believe.

I created Disco is a hot album. Sure, some songs are a bit juvenile and stupid - but this is part of the album's charm. It's fun. This is not the kind of album you could play over and over from start to finish, as the sound does get monotonous after a while. But you'll definitely find yourself playing certain songs constantly, and falling for the quirks and simplicity of the songs. What I look forward to from Calvin however, isn't so much what he does for himself - but more what he produces for other artists. Because there's no doubting his abilities as a producer. And as great as some of his instrumental pieces are, there's a part of you that wishes there was a hot vocal laid on top of them. But I won't de-merit the album because of it's lack of vocals. Because as it is, it's a wholly decent album worth checking out regardless.

Album highlights:
■ Merrymaking at my place
■ The girls
■ Acceptable in the 80's
■ Neon rocks
■ Vegas J's fave
■ I created disco
■ Certified
■ Electro man


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