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Calvin Harris - I Created Disco
|Calvin Harris - I Created Disco|
September 4, 2007
Who knows what signaled throngs of dance musicians – both heralded and relatively unknown, previously enjoyed only through singles and brief EPs – to choose 2007 as the year to churn out a debut full-length? Justice’s † and Digitalism’s Idealism paved the way, and now Scottish artist Calvin Harris follows suit with his I Created Disco. Whether Harris planned to release his first true album during the electronic craze’s unflinching momentum across the hipster world or not, he found the perfect time and place for his coming out party.
Within moments of listening to Harris’s record, one easily identifies the direction of his work; the album-opening “Merry Making at my Place” immediately reminds listeners of LCD Soundsystem both due to its docile bass lines and lyrics centered on gatherings at the speaker’s home. In fact, Calvin’s non-chorus vocal work even rings reminiscent of James Murphy’s singing in its laidback yet still urgent tones. Even when the DFA comparisons disappear, the party-oriented nature of the CD persists. The ensuing “Colours” showcases a marching beat set down through simple percussion and accessorized by intertwined layers of equally repetitive synth work. And despite such straightforwardness, the Scottish artist avoids monotony quite effectively. In fact, the combined levels of primitiveness make for a satisfying whole. The same repetitiveness persists lyrically on both “This is the Industry” and “The Girls.” On the latter, Harris takes a more upbeat approach to the tune, dragging out his introductory preferences regarding females just long enough before diving full-fledged into the song and describing his relationship trials and tribulations in greater detail. Again he takes a relatively homogenous stance throughout the whole of the tune, and again he manages to thrill despite endorsing a recipe that seems destined for triteness. In fact, it seems as though Calvin Harris thrives on presenting the most uniform product possible, deviating from his original formula only when absolutely necessary.
Eventually Calvin breaks from his outstandingly repetitive ways with single “Acceptable in the 80s.” As always, he employs a variety of clear elements mashed together, but here he throws in a greater number of pieces with a more expansive variety in order to yield a similarly rewarding end result. Squealing electronic twitters, determined blips, and decided bass and percussion additions provide an ideal stage for the Scot’s low-pitched declarations and higher musings alike. The synth-heavy title track furthers whatever intricacies Harris developed on “Acceptable in the 80s” by carefully lacing together a gang of electronic angles with thrilling precision. And thus Calvin Harris proves himself capable of producing both impressive tracks based in simplicity and those exhibiting slightly more degrees of activity.
But like all albums, I Created Disco possesses certain undeniable flaws. Musically Calvin first stumbles on the initially appealing “Neon Rocks.” One of those aforementioned incomplex tracks, it falters when Harris toys with timing by delaying a few downward progressions a fraction of a second. Rather than spicing the track up as intended, it annoys and ruins the piece’s momentum. An unnecessary and dull interlude follows, wasting the better part of a minute with pulsating synth varying only in intensity. Another obnoxious intermission blemishes the otherwise enjoyable union of “Disco Heat” and the following “Certified.”
Luckily Harris salvages his album by winding things down with appropriately decelerated tunes. Much like a typical party, Calvin’s record starts out full of anticipation, climaxes with abundant energy, soldiers on through a smattering of awkward rough spots, cools down with chill moments, and concludes with a few reassurances from the host. It’s this ability to perfectly capture a real-life occurrence with music paired with impeccable release timing that look to carry Calvin Harris to the top of the entertainment world. With two top ten U.K. singles, a top ten U.K. album, and a handful of news reports already under his belt, Harris seems primed to skyrocket in popularity in a matter of weeks.
12:04 PM on 09/13/07
great album. and good job. dig the party analogy.
02:05 PM on 09/13/07
Good review. I'll have to check this out.
03:46 PM on 09/13/07
love the last paragraph, but I've been to this guy's myspace before and really didn't like the (i can't find the right word, so) repetitive nature of some of these tracks. I got bored with it very quickly. I might give him another chance, though.
01:02 PM on 09/14/07
Honestly this album is a grower, don't expect to love it on the first listen, by the third or fourth though you will be obsessed.
I was obsessed after one. Whoops on my part.
09:44 PM on 10/06/07
I havn't been able to get "Merrymaking at my Place" out of my head all week.
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