Calvin Harris has turned himself into an absolute hit factory, becoming arguably the biggest DJ/producer in the wold and working with nearly every big name act along the way. So it’s only natural that he’d want to shake things up a bit before his act got too stale, but a funk/r&b/pop album was not something I was expecting from him. He’s found his biggest success in the dance/electronic realm but has always shown flashes of ability within other genres, so I was curious to see what he could really do with Funk Wav Bounces, a project in an entirely different genre than his norm.
“I’ve been thinking way too much
And I’m way too gone to drive
I’ve got anger in my chest
I’ve got millions on my mind
And you didn’t fit the picture
So I guess you weren’t the vibe”
As you might expect from someone who’s expertise is in another genre his integration and implementation of the sounds of funk and R&B are to a minimum and merely surface level at best. Instead he more so uses common sounds and tropes associated with the genre to change up the flavor of his tried and true recipes. He comes off as more of a passing fan than an intimate purveyor. But that’s not to say that his slightly new recipes aren’t enjoyable, because they are, they just don’t do that much different from his past work. While I come for the production with him, I stay because he always comes with the interesting artist match-ups, and he delivers once again with collaborations that don’t seem like they’d work well on paper but turn out surprisingly good. Who knew a Young Thug/Pharrell/Arianna Grande track would actually work. Since there is a Vol. 1 attached to the title, I can only assume that this is just the beginning; I just hope he takes more of a risk next time.
Have you heard Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1? What’d you think about it? Do you think Calvin Harris really took any risks here? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is a short, slight detour from what Calvin Harris is normally known for. It's generally enjoyable but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression or take many risks. Here's to hoping for more from Vol. 2.