Album review : Calvin Harris - 'Ready For The Weekend'
An enjoyable, if somewhat lightweight, return for everyone's favourite tweeter
You should like [a]Calvin Harris[/a]. You should let him fill your Twitter feed with reviews of crisp flavours and random outbursts of “Vanessa Feltz!” You should like the fact he says he started making music aged 15 on a Commodore Amiga – the greatest home computer of the 1990s! – when at the same age I was trying to complete the notoriously tricky snow mountain stage on Lemmings. But most of all, you should like the fact he hasn’t got a beard.
Let me explain: what I really like about Harris’ second record, the follow-up to his 2007 debut ‘I Created Disco’ – a record which was massively and defiantly successful in a way only the internet can enable – is that from the diva-encrusted disco of the title track to the frantic, pop grime of album highpoint [b]‘Worst Day’[/b], you get the impression that all Harris really wants from his career is the opportunity to make fuckloads of people punch the air in unison. Compare that with the non-vision of the horde of grubby tramps singing about unicorns that have given me high blood pressure from thinking of ways for them to die. Or the battalion of vile supermarket indie bands who would smash baby ducks’ faces in for the chance to get on the cover of NME. Or rather just giggle at the doofus ABC-style sax break on opener [b]‘The Rain’[/b]. Or smile at the Giorgio Moroder/Cher (depending on your reference points for this kind of thing) vocoder wig-out on [b]‘Burns Night’[/b]. Because music’s there to be enjoyed, isn’t it? Not to soundtrack all day every day thinking of ways to maim folk musicians.
What I’m saying is this: the populist music-for-the-people philosophy embodied at the core of Harris’ anthem-heavy new record – which is basically the aural distillation of his hedonistic yet geeky everyman persona – is something to be cherished right now. He’s talked recently of the idea of “stadium dance” and “playing football stadiums with big hands-in-the-air anthems” – all of which kinda makes him the [a]Fatboy Slim[/a] you don’t want to clip around the ear – and you have to concede that such vision, in context of the self-serving, utterly mediocre pop dishwash that surrounds him, is an admirable stance. So yeah, you should like Calvin Harris heaps. Long may he bosh. Until he grows a beard, obviously…
[i]What do you think of the album? Let us know by posting a comment below.[/i]
Click here to get your copy of Calvin Harris’ ‘Ready For The Weekend’ from the Rough Trade shop.