How Come Nobody Cares That Calvin Harris Just Made The Best Album Of His Career?
When Calvin Harris released his brand new album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 I was certifiably, undeniably impressed. This went far beyond being ‘shook’ on a surface level, though. The feeling was akin to an epiphany and it left me wondering if this was the first step in transitioning radio hits into a new genre. Goodbye Dancehall infused hits and hello to a whole knew funkified world.
It all started when Calvin secured the historically illusive Frank Ocean for ‘Slide’; complete with disco melodies and squiggly drops. However, instead of using upwards of 10 metaphors to describe sunshine, the subject matter was as cryptic as the star himself. A repetitive chorus which narrates the feeling of securing a Picasso painting, then it dovetails into the subject of non-monogamous relationships. Confusing but alas, with the help of Migos (arguably the most overused voices in 2017), Calvin Harris created THE song of the summer. And to be frank (pun intended), his album is just as good, so why isn’t anyone really talking about it?
The narrative throughout Funk Wav Bounces is far from a chinstroker, but if you listen closely, you’ll be pleasantly surprised the subject matter flick from relationship drama, substance abuse, hedonism, to spirituality – no stone is left unturned.‘Slide’ and ‘Skrt On me’ discuss the classic 20-somethings penchant for polygamy over monogamy. Sliding through DM’s for instant gratification then swerving those who don’t live up to your expectation. ‘Feels’ is just as the title suggests, the journey of opening up your heart and succumbing to mutual thirst. 'Faking It' tells the tales of the “sorta-couple” that act like they don’t care about each other, in order to play the game of guarding their hearts. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1 is beyond contrasting to his EDM past and our preconceived ideas of what a summer heater should sound like. It’s melancholic funk with a dash of California breeze and while Calvin didn’t reinvent the pop wheel to create the album, it’s a solid precursor to what could be.
Aside from the fact that he’s “chucked a DJ Khaled" and recruited an all star cast of collaborators on this release (which includes, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Lil Yachty, Kehlani, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Migos, Frank Ocean, Khalid, Future and more), Funk Wav Bounces is the furthest thing from a grand statement, personal, artistic or otherwise. He’s allowed these artists serious creative control resulting in a record that will tend to superficial musical needs but also satiates the urge to listen to music with substance. The lyrics are deep but they don’t sacrifice pop “listen-ability” to get there and that’s possibly the best review an album could have.
- Lillian "Flexmami" Ahenkan.
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