Calvin Harris
Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1


2.5
average

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
July 1st, 2017 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I Created Apathy

EDM, in spite of its many plus points (arguable or otherwise), is not famed for presenting works of any depth or progression. The genre is capable of satisfying, but the one-hit-wonders are rife, and longevity appears more attached to status and celebrity than actual output. Calvin Harris is undeniably at the forefront of the scene, and to his credit, early albums I Created Disco and Ready For The Weekend showed a promise that put him above the ordinary. Armed with an awkward, geeky persona, and a (potentially ill-advised) predilection for almost deliberately uncool vocal pop efforts amongst the standard club bangers, these two albums were unflinchingly vulnerable yet accomplished, and justified the MySpace hype. Follow-ups 18 Months and Motion showed signs of the quirkiness fading, but were so packed top-to-bottom with hits (12 UK Top 10 singles between the two records), that any loss of character was forgiven or ignored altogether. Then the EDM bubble showed signs of bursting, presenting Harris with a challenge – at this point in his career he’s just simply too cool to go back to his nerdy roots, but his brand of marketable house music was only going to carry him so far – despite the success of follow-up singles such as ‘How Deep Is Your Love’.

Releasing Funk WAV Bounces vol. 1 as a producer-first exploit is an odd move. Harris has enlisted the help of a veritable who’s who of 2017’s hip-hop big-sellers (and Nicki Minaj) to drown out his work with extremely mediocre flows and ill-fitting auto-tuned vocals – please spare me the ‘purple drank’ references. The production itself is solid, but painfully inoffensive. Think 24K Magic being produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff and you’re some way there. That one of the most interesting compositions on offer here comes from a direct interpolation of the main bassline from Earth, Wind and Fire’s ‘Let’s Groove’ (on Katy Perry, Pharrell and Big Sean feature ‘Feels’) speaks volumes for the lack of direction this project possesses. Album highlight ‘Slide’ at least presents a breath of originality, and the blend of smooth Frank Ocean and rough-n-ready Migos is easily the best vocal track on the record. Unfortunately, by placing it first in the track-listing, Harris has shot himself in the foot – top-heavy barely covers it.

The main issue with this record is this: what few ideas exist are spread so thinly amongst an already short run-time, that even by radio-friendly-unit-shifter standards, this project feels so painfully basic that any suggestion that there’s more to this than a cash-grab is gone before it arrives. Even the title is a seeming allusion to works-in-progress, and here it is presented as a full-blown studio release. Funk WAV Bounces vol. 1 is not unpleasant by any stretch, indeed there are a few sparingly presented moments that even approach bliss, and for sure, Harris deserves some kudos for fleeing the S.S EDM – this record will undoubtedly sell by the luxury yacht-load. However, by clinging on to relevance, he has done so at the compromise of everything that made him interesting in the first place. Indeed, should there be a vol. 2, one would hope it’s waiting in the wings very soon, or Harris’ need to ride popular trends may render it unmarketable for him.

And no-one wants that…



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user ratings (93)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Nat S. (3)
This isn’t quite what I came for, but I’ll take it anyway....


Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2017


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just realised how scathingly cynical I came off at the end there, and most people on here seem to like this more than I do, but I just can't bring myself to engage with it.

Evok
July 1st 2017


7680 Comments


Why listen to this trash when Eprom's new EP dropped yesterday. Solid review tho! Never was keen to this candy coated edm schtick when theres plenty of rowdy electronic that has both depth and substance

Digging: Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia

Sinternet
July 1st 2017


19398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

probs his best album yet, solid 4 from what ive heard





Digging: Peggy Gou - Moment

Relinquished
July 1st 2017


39916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

def his best yet, inoffensive but not in a bad way. giving praise to his earlier records when they were shit doesn't make sense.

Sinternet
July 1st 2017


19398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

idk his first two had some jams and a load of filler



18 months was pretty fun and i didnt even hate it when every track got overplayed to hell



motion was like 18 months but less catchy



wouldnt call anything of his shit tbh just lacking in depth

Relinquished
July 1st 2017


39916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

in my eyes, lacking in that much depth is fairly shitty in itself

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2017


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

giving praise to his earlier records when they were shit doesn't make sense.



I actually found the weaker moments to be very charming in a way, I'd rather well-intentioned mis-steps than bland commercialism. Probably explains why I'm an Avenged Sevenfold fan (with the exception of HttK).

wtferrothorn
July 1st 2017


5800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review man, there's no doubt that Harris is trend-riding based off the tracks I've heard. However, I am a sucker for this recent trend of funky, summery pop and I really like the singles I've heard from this so I'm still gonna check this lol



"Think 24K Magic being produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff and you’re some way there."



This sounds exactly like my kinda shit. Guilty as charged ¯_(ツ)_/¯

CaliggyJack
July 1st 2017


2823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Disagree with rating, but what an amazing review!

Green Baron
July 1st 2017


24544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Slide and Rollin are two of his best songs

Digging: Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation

Relinquished
July 1st 2017


39916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

kehlani is great but yea I can always do without yachty

granitenotebook
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2017


900 Comments


great review

Green Baron
July 1st 2017


24544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Young Thug's part on Heatstroke annoys me as well

VaxXi
July 2nd 2017


4407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That Ariana bit on Heatstroke tho. Can't get enough of it.

gryndstone
July 4th 2017


1259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album bounces

Digging: Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated

Evok
July 4th 2017


7680 Comments


Im surpised this guy garners so much attention around here while electronic artists that are actually good go completely unnoticed lol

Kurisu
July 4th 2017


537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

dudes not really an electronic artist tho, just a good producer in general

Kurisu
July 4th 2017


537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

and yes the last four songs are painfully bad

Kurisu
July 4th 2017


537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh wait except feels that ones fine

FullOfSounds
July 4th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hit or miss record



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