Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 Music Album Reviews

Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 Music Album Reviews
Borrowing from disco, electro-soul, boogie, and 1980s R&B, vibe commissioner Calvin Harris’ second volume of frictionless summer jams has the staying power of vape smoke at Coachella.

In the five years between Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 and its sequel, Calvin Harris, once a vegan, began eating liver and bone marrow. “I lost the fuck-you juice for a couple years,” he said in a recent interview. “It all came rushing back as soon as I had those bones and got those amazing fats in my body.” Of his new album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2, he added: “This is the product of that.”

Since 2017, Harris has had UK top 10 hits with Rag’n’Bone Man and Tom Grennan, remixed SZA and Halsey, and starred in a Vegas residency reportedly worth some $1.3 million per night. In 2020 he started a side project under the alias Love Regenerator, which spans ravey techno to this year’s “Lonely,” an irresistible ’90s piano house homage led by a gorgeous vocal from Sananda Maitreya, aka Terence Trent D’Arby. It would be the best track on Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2, had it been included.

The throwback funk sound that Harris mines on Vol. 2 is all over the charts recently, with fresh perspectives from Beyoncé and Steve Lacy, as well as faithful era-reviving from Silk Sonic and Lizzo. Unfortunately no amount of beef offal can bring Harris to the level of his peers. When he borrows from disco, electro-soul, boogie, and ’80s R&B, the music is so wispy and unobtrusive it has the staying power of vape smoke at Coachella.

In the early ’10s, Harris productions like “We Found Love” and “Bounce” brightened the sound of radio pop. Here, he dulls it. Synths glide frictionlessly; vivid colors become pastel-toned playlist fodder. Lead single “Potion,” the weakest of Dua Lipa’s underwhelming post-Future Nostalgia singles, underserves her and Young Thug on a beat that feels like a yacht rock keyboard preset; Pharrell’s cloying ode to friendship on “Day One” has the complexity of a unicorn pool float. Harris cribs DNCE’s profoundly irritating disco pastiche “Cake by the Ocean” for a 6LACK and Donae’o collaboration called, ahem, “Nothing More to Say.”

“Lean on Me,” led by Swae Lee, shoots for the swooniness of “Sunflower” but lands at bland bedroom pop. The “Uptown Funk” type beat of “Stay With Me” would have felt dated a half-decade ago and despite the best efforts of co-features from Pharrell and Justin Timberlake, the song is just about saved by a seductive Halsey hook. “Hey, it’s a mess out there,” they sing, our hero swooping in to save the day.

Many of Vol. 2’s collaborations are thrilling to consider in the abstract. You can imagine a fabulously fun summer anthem with Harris and Latto, but her silky verse on the meandering “Live My Best Life” is cut short for a hook from Snoop Dogg, whose Bootsy Collins thing was better back when he was Snoopzilla. Harris once elevated his collaborators; many of them still shine despite insipid production. Busta Rhymes comes on “Ready or Not” mad as hell, flipping between double-time raps and flamboyant ad-libs; Stefflon Don’s lilting hook on “Woman of the Year” radiates blithe charisma. And a lovesick Charlie Puth is amusingly dogwalked by dancehall star Shenseea on the boogie-inspired “Obsessed,” his romantic entreaties countered by her brilliantly unbothered verse.

Harris’ best songs were works of high-voltage audacity, with brazen EDM donks that demanded you surrender to heedless joy, but could be oddly emotional too. In place of his previous music’s vision, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 simply demonstrates competence. Harris may say that this album is powered by fuck-you juice; it is as threatening as an Erewhon smoothie.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 Music Album Reviews Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on August 17, 2022 Rating: 5


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