Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

If anyone was going to drop the album of summer ’17, it would be Calvin Harris. With three wavy singles that caught fire immediately, Calvin Harris had listeners feeling the summer before it even arrived. “Slide” and “Feels” are ruling the airwaves while “Rollin” has been more quiet, but still banging. But like all artists who drop a bevy of exceptional singles, does Calvin Harris succeed in dropping the summer album of the year or is it a forgettable record with simply the singles to play over and over?

For me, Calvin Harris succeeds in delivering an exceptional album in Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. The masterful recruitment of all-star features takes the album to another level. However, at the base of the song is the funky electronic production that is top-notch and extremely unique to Calvin Harris’ previous work. I’m more impressed by his ability to make the funk- and disco-flavored EDM work perfectly with each featured artist than the featured artists dominating their respective beats. The album is fresh, cohesive, and truly wavy. The title of the album is no ruse; it’s the real thing.

Calvin Harris succeeded in bringing together all-star talent on a record destined to rule the summer unlike DJ Khaled with his Grateful. DJ Khaled’s album was too drawn out with 23 tracks while Harris’ album was concise with 10 tracks. DJ Khaled’s album ended up being 90 percent filler, while Calvin Harris’ album has bangers throughout. In this case, Calvin Harris’ album felt more thought out and intentional, and as a result it exceeds expectations.

Tracks like “Slide”, “Cash Out”, and “Prayers Up” are phenomenal and stand out the most. “Slide” features Frank Ocean and Migos, and it shouldn’t work but it works extremely well. ScHoolboy Q dominates “Cash Out”, flowing smoothly through the verses like a complete boss. PARTYNEXTDOOR and D.R.A.M. ensure that the song is even more catchy. “Prayers Up” is included in some of my favorites because I didn’t expect Travis Scott to kill the track. The track goes and Travis Scott is a big part in why.

Only two songs fell flat for me. “Skrt On Me” is the dancehall track that features Nicki Minaj drenched in autotune. The song isn’t terrible; in fact, I enjoy it. What I don’t enjoy is Nicki Minaj’s voice being buttered up with autotune. As far as I’m concerned, she cannot sing and simply raps. Therefore, I wish Harris’ had recruited someone else for the verses and chorus and let Nicki Minaj simply handle the rapping on the bridge. Literally anyone who could sing without autotune could have carried that track more than Nicki. The second track that I just don’t like at all is the final track “Hard to Love”. It features Jessie Reyez, who I have never heard of before and will not hear more of in the future. The song itself is forgettable and Reyez doesn’t do anything outstanding for the track which is actually has dull production compared to the rest of the album.

Overall, the record is great and will be the soundtrack of the summer. It’s concise, cohesive, and catchy, and showcases Calvin’s forward approach to EDM and the potential of collaborations being done right. Calvin Harris understands that the only way to move EDM forward is to blend it with other influences such as the 80s and modern rap and pop. Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is funky, wavy, bouncy, and will be on repeat throughout the summer.

Top vybes: “Slide”, “Cash Out”, “Rollin”, “Prayers Up”

Not vybes: “Hard to Love”

For those who vybe to: anything on Top 40 radio

 

Calvin Harris, Pvris, The Plot In You

“Feels” – Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris will have the best album of the summer and the whole year—quote me. The evidence is in his singles off his upcoming release Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, due June 23rd. The latest of these singles “Feels” continues in the same fashion as the other singles. Calvin Harris is combining fantastical collaborations with extra groovy funk-inspired EDM. “Feels” features Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean, each artist adding an extra layer of artistry on this track. The production is phenomenal, truly mixing the funky vibes with modern anthems without being over-the-top. It’s impossible to miss how summery this and the other singles are which only hints more at the fact that Calvin Harris is taking over the summer. My favorite facet of “Feels” is that each artist adds a different flavor on top the stellar, slow-burning production.

“What’s Wrong” – Pvris

As if to prove that Pvris can do no wrong, they drop a new single titled “What’s Wrong”, and in fact there is nothing wrong with this song. Pvris does everything right on this track. To mix brooding lyrics with powerfully, subtle instrumentation for the result of an infectious alt-rock anthem is a showcase of outstanding musicianship. Lynn Gunn continues to deliver amazing vocals, and it is during the bridge where you can truly feel the riveting emotion that she brings. Pvris is a stand-out band for me because they don’t go overboard with their sound. They deliver darkly-tinged atmospheric tracks that don’t sacrifice infectiousness or simplicity. “What’s Wrong” is a testament to that and is further proof that Pvris will drop a phenomenal sophomore album due on August 4th.

“Feel Nothing” – The Plot In You

The Plot In You dropped “Feel Nothing” to announce their signing with the stacked Fearless Records. Despite its title, this track makes you feel everything. From the despondently dark instruments to the emotional, gritty vocals, this track is extremely powerful. This band has been amazing for quite some time, especially after their last record Happiness in Self Destruction, but they continue to display maturity in growth, evident on “Feel Nothing”. It’s polished, mature, and extremely well-structured—ultimately allowing for this song to hit harder than ever. The way the softly crooned verse simmers slowly into the potent chorus is remarkable and unforgettable. One simply cannot listen this song and not feel anything. The Plot In You killed this track, and in turn fans will kill the replay button.

Marshmello, Pvris, HAIM Reviews

Lots of amazing music came out today, so I decided to review three songs at once. Expect an album review of Russ’ There’s Really A Wolf and an artist to watch over the weekend. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the new vybes given to us by Marshmello, Haim, and Pvris.

“Moving On” – Marshmello

Marshmello is killing the EDM game, and he continues to do so with his newest track “Moving On”. The enigmatic producer who weaves trap and EDM together so effortlessly crafts another song that will have you dancing nonstop and singing at the top of your lungs. Marshmello is very much an artist who seeks to spread positive vybes through the music he creates, and “Moving On” is nothing short of positive. It’s simply a jovial song that will make you smile at one point or another. From the bludgeoning bass to the jolly melody throughout, the song is crafted very well. The shrill vocals before the drop act as the icing on the cake, something one should expect on a Marshmello track. “Moving On” certainly isn’t Marshmello’s best track, nor does it do anything drastically mind-blowing, but it is solid track that will continue to get people ready for an album release that seems to be closer than we may think.

For those who vybe to: Galantis, Slushii

“Heaven” – Pvris

Pvris can do no wrong. Following a large period since their debut release White Noise that came out late 2014, the three-piece alternative rock outfit is back with an impassioned song titled “Heaven”. This song is impeccable on every level. The song is composed to perfection, transitioning from a piano-driven ballad into the moody atmospheric anthem that is the band’s signature. The lyrics are poignant, the pinnacle being the chorus where vocalist Lynn Gunn belts out the passionate “You took my heaven away” that is a quite quotable and pertinent for any person subject to heartache. Pvris seems to be going down a darker route as this single is different from “Fire” and “My House” off of their debut. But this is not a thing to be feared, as Pvris has proven that they can craft masterpieces whether they emanate lighter or darker tones.

For those who vybe to: The Neighbourhood, Tonight Alive

“Want You Back” – HAIM

Their breakthrough debut put them on the map back in 2013, but they are destined to make bigger waves with their future release. “Want You Back” is an infectious track that provides a sparkling glimpse into what’s to come from this trio. Their music is highly tinged by the 80s, and it’s front and center on “Want You Back”. This song is highly reminiscent of The 1975, which attests to Haim’s ability to smoothly blend the 80s with pop rock. The vocals, instrumentation, production, and composition are cohesive and ultimately serve to make this song extremely memorable. As a result of “Want You Back”, I eagerly await their upcoming material which should be nothing short of remarkable.

For those who vybe to: The 1975, CHVRCHES

image via Billboard.com

“After Midnight” – KLYMVX ft. Emily Zeck

With a medley of notable remixes on their resume, the French EDM duo KLYMVX break away with an astounding original track. Blessed by the vocals of Emily Zeck, “After Midnight” is a wonderful track once again showing how EDM and pop are seamlessly intertwined.

Opening with a piano ballad accompanied by Zeck’s soothing vocals, the song initially seems to be too tame to be an EDM song.However, once Zeck starts reaching towards the sky with her voice, the song comes to life. In fact, she sings “hold me close, it makes me feel alive”, but the very thing that makes us feel alive is the chorus. So simple yet effective, the chorus is too catchy to not sing along to. Moreover, the tropical house vibe this song spills out is too irresistible.

With lyrical content that focuses on love and relationship, “After Midnight” is nothing new. But the pairing of Zeck’s peaceful vocals with the riveting production is a breath of fresh air in an area of music that can grow stagnant quickly. Featured atop Spotify France’s New Electro playlist, “After Midnight” is an exceptional track equipped with the pieces to catch fire in the US.

Vibes like: “Cold Water” – Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber and MØ

For those who vibe to: DJ Snake, Cheat Codes

 

Top 10 Marshmello Songs

Marshmello, the most notable newcomer in EDM this year, has caused a riot with his riveting music. Implementing trap elements into his EDM, he has definitely found a formula that serves as both infectious and artistic. With a key signing to Skrillex’s label and an astounding debut album, Marshmello is taking over the world. Here’s his top 1o songs that I’m 99% sure you’ll instantly add to your favorite playlist.

10. Let Me Love You (Remix)

This is Marshmello’s newest track, but it’s popping. Marshmello reinvents the infectious track originally by DJ Snake and Justin Bieber. By adding his unique trap style, Marshmello really made this track stick out even more.

9. Want U 2

Although it is not one of his most famous tracks, “Want U 2” has all the sugary goodness that Marshmello is known for. The drop is catchy, and the warped voice leaves an imprint on your brain. Also the second drop is better than the first, so it rewards you with extra flavor if you listen to all of it.

8. Alarm (Remix)

The track was created by Anne Marie, but Marshmello makes it more of a banger. Enhancing Anne Marie’s already catchy lyrics, he adds a bundle of energy that’ll make anyone move their bodies. There’s a reason this remix has 5.29 million plays on SoundCloud.

7. Where Are U Now (Remix)

The only person capable of topping the monstrous hit by Skrillex, Diplo, and Justin Bieber is Marshmello. His genius reworking of the chorus shifted him from the background of EDM into the spotlight.

6. Find Me

Enough of the remixes. :Find Me” is a track created Marshmello that is most certainly a festival favorite. A riveting song from start to finish, it’s clear to see why it’s a favorite and one of his most notable tracks off his debut release Joytime.

5. Keep It Mello (ft. Omar Linx)

This track is one out of few Marshmello tracks that actually contains vocals. In fact, Omar Linx’s smooth delivery perfectly leads up to the catchy drop that’ll get anyone repeating that they “like to keep it mello”.

4. Kknow Me

The opening track for his album Joytime, “Kknow Me” is the song that perfectly represents Marshmello and his unique style. From the warped vocals, the riveting bass-backed chorus, and the savory synths, we truly get to see a broad picture of Marshmello’s sound.

3. Freal Luv (ft. Chanyeol and Tinashe)

This Far East Movement song produced by Marshmello shows that less is sometimes better. With less sugariness and more simplicity, Marshmello delivers a fiery track that enhances the artists on the track. That chorus will make you break things.

2. Ritual

This song hints at a slightly different direction for Marshmello, yet it still bears his signature style. Blessed by Wrabel’s glorious vocals, “Ritual” is a spectacular track that could be Marshmello’s reach into mainstream without sacrificing his uniqueness. Truly infectious in every way, this track is destined for greatness once The Chainsmoker’s fad flickers out.

1. Alone

This track is Marshmello’s gift to humanity. Emotionally and sonically appealing, this track shows Marshmello hitting on all cylinders. Accompanied by a touching video that has 181 million views on Youtube, this is his most well-known track and for good reason. Listen to it once, and you will replay it until you can’t stand it anymore.

image via billboard.com