Calvin Harris
Motion


2.5
average

Review

by Alex Kugaczewski USER (24 Reviews)
November 14th, 2014 | 22 replies


Release Date: 10/31/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Motion" brings a beat, but forgets everything else.

It would be an understatement to say Scottish electropop artist Calvin Harris is no stranger to the charts. Back in 2013, Harris laid claim to nine top ten singles in the UK charts -- all from the same album. That’s no small feat, especially since the previous record belonged to Michael Jackson. Harris’s success isn’t too difficult to grasp either; built on a serviceable foundation of pop sensibility, electronic beats and dance rhythms, Harris’s hits have drilled deep into the brains of countless unsuspecting partygoers. “Motion,” then, feels right at home alongside Harris’s previous recordings as a nighttime soundtrack for rooms lit by flashing neon lights. Sadly, not all is well on the dance floor.

“Motion,” at its very core, is a record that operates with calculated immediacy. Running the gamut from pulsating spasms of electric grooves to infectious, hit-smashing melodies, Harris’s latest release feels genetically engineered for stratospheric success. And that’s exactly the problem. Throughout its fifteen tracks, “Motion” sounds immaculately planned and rarely felt -- a product in the truest sense, carefully, meticulously made for maximum retention.

As the album’s third cut, “Blame,” works through its boisterous stomps and emphatic beats, it’s easy to imagine the perfect mathematical formula created to yield such a prototypical dance tune. With precise tweaks in just the right spots, “Love Now,” the next song, is the new end result -- another exercise in tepid, bare-bones competence. If Harris’s singular goal is to compel his audience to get up and move, he may have succeeded, but it’s difficult to suppress the feeling that this has been done before with more vision and vigor.

Speaking of Harris, it’s a shame his voice doesn’t carry more weight, because strong vocals could have elevated a number of these tracks into better territory. Harris’s own vocal contributions are consistently cut down by guest appearances from the likes of Ellie Goulding and All About She, performing a ruthless sabotage on the record’s vocal-centric numbers. Album opener “Faith,” for instance, could have been a moving soul-tinged ballad in the hand of a gifted vocalist, but handled exclusively by Harris, the song drifts lifelessly with an imagined impact.

By all accounts, “Motion” is an album flanked by superiors. Harris’s fourth full-length recording isn’t as danceable as the year’s best nu-disco releases and it can’t claim the longevity of the year’s best pop albums. If you’re looking for an irresistible groove, you’re better off with Todd Terje’s “It’s Album Time.” If you’re looking for an unforgettable hook, you’re better off with Taylor Swift’s “1989.” As it stands, “Motion” is a record adrift in a sea of averages -- reasonably competent but ultimately outclassed.



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user ratings (51)
Chart.
2.4
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Underflow
November 14th 2014


3825 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I wanted to try reviewing something a bit different from my norm. Originally posted here: http://georgiastatesignal.com/calvin-harris-motion-review/

Pangea
November 14th 2014


2697 Comments


Good review. Blame is alright

TheGreatQ
November 14th 2014


2520 Comments


Good review, but you should italicise the album's name instead of putting it in quotes.

TheMoonchild
November 14th 2014


1127 Comments


Summer is a song that makes me want to stab babies

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2014


30765 Comments


ellie goulding is the best

EnyaFangirl
November 15th 2014


1563 Comments


[2]

treeqt.
November 15th 2014


16894 Comments


bet this is aoty

Grizzlypyro
November 15th 2014


272 Comments


Agree with the review, album is boring compared to 18 months.

wwba
November 15th 2014


480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of the best house releases of the year along with Garrix's Gold Skies

treeqt.
November 19th 2014


16894 Comments


blame actually doesnt sound like shit in flac

ChoccyPhilly
November 19th 2014


11628 Comments


great review, bad album

Digging: Cecil Otter - Dear Echo

treeqt.
November 19th 2014


16894 Comments


honestly pretty solid for what it is
although i'm only 6 tracks in so far

treeqt.
November 19th 2014


16894 Comments


gets pretty tedious tbh

VaxXi
November 19th 2014


4098 Comments


I refuse to think anything from Martin Garrix can be considered good.

Digging: FERN - FERN

wwba
November 22nd 2014


480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I refuse to think anything from Martin Garrix can be considered good."



says the guy who never managed to get any of his work released by Spinnin' Records or Musical Freedom

Underflow
November 23rd 2014


3825 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Trying to think of any cut on this album to come back to, and I keep coming up short.

treeqt.
November 23rd 2014


16894 Comments


first few tracks as an ep would be fun

Underflow
December 10th 2014


3825 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I could see that. Probably the most entertaining thing here is Slow Acid, and that's not really saying much.

AmericanFlagAsh
February 27th 2015


8656 Comments


The song with Haim is pretty annoying and I even like Haim

Sinternet
August 18th 2015


14626 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As much as I love the whole prog house/electro house/big room genres I really wish he would do something like I Created Disco again.

Digging: Circa Survive - The Amulet



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