EDM producer Calvin Harris has had a rapid rise to fame in the last few years. His debut album, 2007’s I Created Disco, created with an Amiga computer, spawned hits such as Acceptable in the 80s and The Girls, while his second album, Ready for the Weekend was released two years later and hinted at a bigger, mainstream sound. Both these albums featured his vocals, however on third album 18 Months, released in 2012, he collaborated with a variety of guest stars including Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, and Tinie Tempah. Harris is additionally the first artist to have nine Top 10 singles from one album, and his most recent single Summer was released in April on Columbia Records.
While the vocals are not the main focal point of electronic dance music, Harris’ vocals seem rather forced in comparison to his 2009 hit I’m Not Alone, while lyrically it is average, as he talks about meeting a girl in the summer, with a play on words as the relationship continues into autumn (We fell in love/as the leaves turn brown).
At times , Harris is capable of crafting a big catchy hook (for example on Sweet Nothing featuring Florence Welch), but on this occasion the synthesizers in the verse sound very under produced which is a shame because reverb could have been added to give the sound a boost. Even when the piano comes in for the build-up, it is unmemorable and bland. The chorus is also repetitive and perhaps an extended version would have worked better because it would give more of an opportunity to capture the feeling and essence of the track.
Perhaps Harris relies on popular artists to sing on his tracks whereas he previously recorded everything himself. It is evident on Summer that perhaps Harris should stick to solely producing as the singers who collaborate on his tracks are stronger vocally, while musically some innovative ideas could be gained to help him stand out.
For Fans Of: David Guetta, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia