Calvin Harris: Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 (Columbia) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Calvin Harris

Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1


Aug 14, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Pop music today has taken the more is more mentality; it seems almost every track you hear on the radio contains multiple artists reaching for star billing on a stacked lineup. In keeping with the maximalist trend, Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 sees the electro house titan trade in the DJ board for a bass guitar, bringing together stars from across the pop sphere for assistance.

When the stars align, it makes for a rollicking listen that showcases Harris’ knack for pop orchestration while demonstrating the strengths of music’s dominant players. Album opener “Slide” displays the ying and yang of excess, with Frank Ocean and Quavo and Offset of Migos trading verses on luxury and the demons that come with it. “Rollin” features teenage crooner Khalid stealing the show from Future, painting a picture of life on the road filled with guilt and anger. The third Migos member, Takeoff, the resident king of the ad-lib, borrows from Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” on the g-funk throwback “Holiday.” Harris has the ability to create an airy space for the artists to feature their strengths, making the songs just as much theirs as his.

What comes with such a large number of artists on one album is an inherent clutter. Some songs don’t seem to fit the grand scheme of what Harris is trying to accomplish, causing some tracks to slog on more than others. At certain points the record sounds like a radio ready Random Access Memories; but whereas Daft Punk was mining through old sounds to create nostalgia, Harris is creating pop candy for the masses. The album is custom made for summer parties and long drives, just do not expect more out of multiple listens. (

Author rating: 6/10

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June 11th 2018

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