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Album Review: Calvin Harris – Motion

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Nearly seven years after his first album, I Created Disco (2007), Calvin Harris continues to be a relevant fixture at house parties, summer festivals, and clubs everywhere. His latest production, Motion, strays further away from the dance-pop that defined his previous album, 18 Months (2012), and provides a more somber offering.
Don’t worry though, all four singles still follow the standard Calvin Harris form. They are bouncy, up-beat, and bass-heavy—all critical elements that the Scottish DJ is known for incorporating. The two leading singles, “Under Control” (with Alesso ft. Hurts) and “Summer,” are typical Harris—they lack lyrical depth, although “Under Control” tries harder in this regard—but they make you want to get up and dance and dance and dance.
Harris collaborates with a wide variety of artists including John Newman, Ellie Goulding, Gwen Stefani, and Big Sean. His skills as a producer are highlighted by his ability to mirror the lyrical talents of the musicians he works with. Whether it is a collaboration with Goulding and her incredible vocal range or Sean and his rhymes, Harris is able to create enjoyable enough tracks.
Where Motion falls short is in its disjointed feel—the album lacks a constant theme other than espousing ‘feel good’ music. Each of Harris’s albums sounds just like the last—the beats, the lyrics, and the collaborations all start blending together into one massive EDM DJ set. Harris has found his comfort zone and continues to make music that, though chart-topping, is hardly unique. Love him or hate him, two things are certain: Calvin Harris is here to stay, and you’ll probably hear him this weekend.