Today, Calvin Harris drops his highly anticipated album 18 Months here in the States. No critic can deny the fact that Calvin Harris’ career has been on an upward trajectory quicker than he could have imagined—literally within less a year. No newcomer to the scene, Harris possesses a significant amount of skill and talent yet has somehow managed to stay beneath the radar until his collaboration with singer Rihanna on “We Found Love.” That one single monopolized airwaves throughout the nation and served as a notable mark to his transition into mainstream radio. Following “We Found Love,” Harris released “Let’s Go,” a hyperactive tune with singer Ne-Yo that will get any human moving on the dancefloor. Between “We Found Love,” “Let’s Go” and “Feel So Close,” Calvin Harris’ popularity and audience skyrocketed; he’s practically a staple (every hour on the hour like clockwork) on mainstream radio. Although the following tracks have integrated Harris into the mainstream, the following singles mentioned do not compare to the tracks featured on 18 Months.
“I Need Your Love,” featuring Ellie Goulding continues to clinch the crown of favorite track on the album. Besides the eloquent vocals of Ellie Goulding, a voice that can do no wrong, the melodies within the track following the lyrics creates goose bumps on the skin. Although the lyrics scream highly emotional, an individual battling with a loosing relationship, haunted by the unexpected turn of lost love, “I Need You Love” carries that element of powerful energy that makes you want to dance and jump around in circles with your hands in the air. It’s definitely a track that will leave your finger on the repeat button. “Drinking From the Bottle,” featuring Tinie Tempah, is high impact sonic energy and will surely become someone’s weekend anthem—especially with lyrics like, “I know this crazy life can be a bitter pill to swallow, so forget about tomorrow, tonight we’re drinking from the bottle,” following a heavy drop that transitions into full on party mode. “Iron” with Nicky Romero doesn’t need much of an explanation except for the fact that it features impeccable build ups and displays the signature style of Calvin Harris, including his vocals and Nicky Romero’s divine talent in creating depth. Talk about a banger for the body. Of course, the long time favorite dance track “Bounce,” featuring Kelis is a feel good track perfect from winding down or ignoring the pressures and stresses of life—the kind that makes you want to pull out their hair.
Out of all the collaborations on 18 Months, the track with Dillon Francis “Here to China” featuring Dizzee Rascal, is a sweet, unexpected surprise. It’s becoming one of my favorite collaborations on 18 Months because Dillon Francis and Calvin Harris produce opposing signature sounds yet the flow and melody of “Here to China” will leave you vibing, bobbing your head back and forth. It’s definitely a track I can see Dillon Francis dropping at HARD’s Day of the Dead festival this weekend in Los Angeles. Of course, no one can ignore the thrilling sound of the track “Sweet Nothing” featuring Florence Welch, a goddess in carrying a soulful sound. Although the track released prior to 18 Months, the lyrics in “Sweet Nothing” will leave you gasping, making the mind think about personal situations, “I put my faith in something unknown, I’m living on such sweet nothing.” I respect the fact Calvin Harris produced tracks with female singers that hold emotion and allow fans of EDM culture to personally have tracks to feel connected to when going through a tough time within their personal life. “Thinking About You” featuring Ayah Marar resembles the classic sound of Calvin Harris, the signature sound from his previous album Ready For the Weekend. A subtle house track that you can sway your body to without having to heavily rage—think relaxing and feel good.
From heavy bangers to introspective tunes, 18 Months shows versatility and range and demonstrates the growth of Calvin Harris from his previous album. Although I didn’t touch on the tracks “School,” “Mansion,” and “Coming Back for More” featuring Example, Calvin Harris delivered a legitimate album that deserves a listen. It’s impossible to not find one track that you don’t like. I just continue to pray he doesn’t transition into David Guetta Jr., NO insult directed.