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Music Review

Calvin Harris: '18 Months' - Album review

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Released on Monday, Oct 29 2012

Calvin Harris '18 Months' album artwork.
When Calvin Harris revealed he was stepping away from the mic for his third studio album some 18 months (geddit?) ago, few could have predicted that it was to make room for Rihanna to front one of the biggest pop songs in recent memory 'We Found Love'. It was a track that not only turned the odd and occasionally angry Scot into a household name, but made him the must-have producer of the moment.

It also appeared to affect the trajectory of his own record which, over the last year-and-a-bit and six singles later, seemingly took a drastic turn. The early days saw quirky brilliance in Kelis hook-up 'Bounce', which melded '80s computer game bleeps with an ear-snagging chorus, while the squawking electronics of 'Feel So Close' set him apart from the rest of four-to-the-floor dirge in the charts at the time.

Post-Rihanna, and there's a definite "more of this please" feeling. Subsequent collaborations with Ne-Yo, Example and Florence Welch - while by no means bad - lacked originality and felt more like attempts to fit in rather than stand out. The worst offender is 'Drinking From The Bottle' with Tinie Tempah; a standard slice of LOL-some rave-pop with yet another predictable face-melting build up.

That said, there are still moments where songcraft wins out. 'I Need Your Love' finds Ellie Goulding's distinctive tones soaring over thumping bass, while closing chest-thumper 'Thinking About You' features exciting up and comer Ayah Marar. The result is an exhilarating set that, truth be told, we would have been a lot more excited about six months ago.



Tracks to download: 'Bounce', 'Feel So Close', 'I Need Your Love'
If you like this, you'll like: Swedish House Mafia, Example, David Guetta

Listen to Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's 'I Need Your Love' below:

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