Review Summary: Taking note from 90s dance music, Calvin’s 2nd album is an improvement over I Create Disco.Style:
Electronica with dance and pop elements
is a stellar opening track and may remind some of Justin Timberlake’s Futuresex/Lovesounds. Calvin uses vocoder throughout the song adding to the dark trance feel of the song. Ready For The Weekend
is one the catchiest tunes on the record, but the lyrics serves as sharp contracts to the upbeat tone of the music. Mary Pearce’s guest vocals are a throwback to the dance divas that came before her. The track Stars Come Out
is classic Calvin because of the repetitiveness of the lyrics and music which instead of sounding lifeless have enough flare to keep it interesting. Like the opening You Used To Hold Me
has a dark feel, Calvin’s echo adds to the dimension of feeling a loss he once had with the girl he sings the song too. The first track to feature a guitar and has Calvin singing in the most honest tone, Blue
has a Gameboy musical quality to it. There is a strong rock feel as the progresses yet it doesn’t affect his delivery as he manages to keep the same emotional context until the end of the song.
Probably the strongest track on the record I’m Not Alone
has a large than life rave quality to it. Like stepping into the neon and people filled warehouse for the first and just experience of it all with a max of others. The music has euphoric quality to it that makes it the highlight of the record. Flashback
could rival the previous as being a hit on the dance floor. There’s a hint a sadness in Calvin’s singing and is one of the few tracks to feature a strong piano beat. Worst Day
is a surprise in that you can hear a acoustic guitar being strummed through the track. Calvin lists the mistake of a relationship he really didn’t want to be apart of in the first place. Relax
also has a prominent guitar playing that is slightly more complex than the previous track and adds a Latin vibe to the song against the cold computer beat. Limits
has a stable yet interesting beat progression. Like the tracks before it there’s a depressing nature of the lyrics, however trying to form a emotional connection is difficult since Calvin sings with a vocoder.
has a steady drum beat against high pitched notes creating a sleepy feel like that long walk/ride from for a party you barely remember and feeling that you’ve done things you’d rather not want to. Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La
is a Jamiroquai-like song while Calvin tries his best to sing in falsetto but falls short, but the funk vibe makes up for it. Dance Wiv Me
starts off with Dizzee Rascal rapping and being the main player on this track while Calvin takes a backseat to it all save for the hook. It’s a real letdown as he could’ve played a much larger vocal role than what he did thus, possibly creating, one of the finest tracks on the album. 5iliconeator
features a slow piano beat throughout and has a similar feel Burns Night. Calvin doesn’t sing at all letting the listener focus solely on the music and nothing else.
There’s a big nostalgia quality with the mix uplifting, dark vocals, and production tricks of 90s dance music. Strangely the record reminds me of Hilary Duff’s Dignity because of the melancholy of the lyrics that dominate the album despite the upbeat musical sound. Calvin’s songwriting still needs refining to avoid the weak and cliché lines he sometimes sings, but there are beginning sings of improvement. The strongest aspect of this record is the production, mixing of the “old” with the current sound of today’s dance. However there’s a fair amount of Harris’ style in each song.
I’m Not Alone