Review: Motion – Calvin Harris

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Arguably the world’s biggest DJ, Calvin Harris returns to music domination with his latest album Motion. Similar to the hugely successful 18 Months, Harris once again has teamed up with a host of other musical stars, including Ellie Goulding, John Newman, Alesso and Hurts to name but a few.

The sound of the album has evolved, having a more club-like feel – including more builds and drops to keep with the times. This is illustrated perfectly by the incredible ‘Slow Acid’ and ‘Overdrive’, with the latter also featuring a cheeky bass guitar riff as a lead-up to the build.

As seems standard for Calvin Harris these days, the album already features 3 UK number ones. ‘Under Control’, a collaboration with Alesso feat. Hurts, hit top spot in late 2013. The anthemic ‘Summer’, with vocals from Calvin himself, was voted “Song of the summer” by Spotify. ‘Blame’, featuring John Newman, was the third to go straight to number one, with Newman’s instantly recognisable voice providing a great template for Harris to churn out another smash hit. The newest single from the album, ‘Outside’ (feat. Ellie Goulding) is destined to be another smash-hit, combining Goulding’s original and emotive vocals with a trademark Calvin Harris hook.

While being few and far between in this album, it’s great to have the Scottish superstar singing again; one of my favourite songs of all time is ‘I’m Not Alone’ from back in mid-2009. His vocals once again take center stage in the album opener ‘Faith’ which, like pretty much every song on Motion, wouldn’t sound out of place in a huge venue, accompanied by an extravagant light show.

Due to the sheer quality of the majority of the tracks on this record, there are a few that ultimately disappoint because of the incredibly high standard Harris has set himself. Tracks such as ‘Love Now’, ‘Dollar Signs’ and ‘It Was You’ weren’t as memorable. Having said that, for fillers they are still of a high enough quality to put newer and less experienced artists on another level.

My highlight and surprise favourite of Motion was ‘Ecstasy’, once again featuring Hurts on the vocals. It has a very different tone to the rest of the album, which could be seen as a downside, but the slower tempo and lack of computerised sounds work well with Theo Hutchcraft’s soft and mellow voice, which allows you to concentrate on the song’s lyrics with a tender backing track from Calvin. Even though it is a different genre to the rest of the album and from the outside a largely simplistic song, it’s still brilliantly composed and well worth listening.

Reminding me of ‘Drinking From The Bottle’ from his previous album, ‘Open Wide’ (featuring Big Sean) is a massive club tune. With a catchy hook, irrepressible beat and easy to sing-along lyrics, I’d predict it to go straight to number one if released as a single.

On a personal level this album is an absolute cracker, even surpassing his record breaking 18 Months. The slight evolution from chart singles to more club-like bangers has been an unquestionable success, so I for one am looking forward to hearing these tunes in Oceana in the very near future!

4.5 stars

Motion is available now via Columbia Records.

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Muse-worshiping, F1-career-aiming Aeronautics student.

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