25 August 2009

Calvin Harris: "Ready for the Weekend"

Links updated

He’s back with his following up to debut “I Created Disco.” “Ready for the Weekend” (14 August 2009 in Australia, 17 August 2009 the UK, 18 August 2009 USA) really follows the trend of great music by Scottish musicians this year (Franz Ferdinand, The View, Wake the President). From his in your face title of his debut album (who other than Harris wants the title of “inventing” disco) to his sophomore effort, it is comfortable to acknowledge that for as much as things change, they are still the same. You can imagine the same reactions to this album as the first – partying, dancing, more partying, passing the spliff, and even more partying. But things are different in a sense – the album is definitely more mature in sound, tighter production, and more tricks up his sleeves than the first time around.

The album has been a long process to completion (that included a lie meant to buy him more time about losing the sole copy of his work when his baggage was mishandled at Heathrow). With two singles out (“I’m Not Alone” and “Ready for the Weekend”) and a third song licensed to Coca-Cola (“Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La”), there was definitely a growing anticipation for the album. (This is not to mention that included is “Dance Wiv Me” – a song done with Dizzee Rascal and Chrome that reached the top of the British charts.) What you definitely get on the album is a collection of songs that are more radio-friendly than the debut album. There are definitely less lulls this time around, the album consistently keeps you on your toes. “Burning Nights” and “5iliconeator” are the only two songs that move slowly (and drearily) on the album. “5iliconeator” is the closing track of the album, and definitely one that will take you by surprise. You’ve been bobbing along for fifty-minutes, and all of the sudden this track will stop you in your tracks. It would be easy to layout some incredible beats for this track (maybe a remix will surface soon), but in it’s album format it is the one track that will give you time to sit back and reflect.

Tracks to pay close attention to: “You Use to Hold Me” (80s meet 90s house), “Worst Day” (simple pop ditty with acoustic guitar featuring Izza Kissa), and “Relax” – easily my favorite track on the album – will remind you of early Harris, while showing how crisp and detail oriented his production style has become. That is the one thing about the album that you will either love or hate: the attention to details. For instance, I have always loved tight musicians, but tight musicians recording an album in an open room really does something to me that other albums/tracks do not. But that is not the case here at all. This is meticulous, heavily thought out, with every second and transition well thought out. And though I typically expect a more “raw” sound, this punctilious album does not suffer from the careful eye on details – just the opposite. Harris has learned how to hook his listener with production that works, while not allowing his tricks to become gimmicks and gaunt.

Track Listing:
1. The Rain
2. Ready for the Weekend
3. Stars Come Out
4. You Used to Hold Me
5. Stars Come Out
6. I’m Not Alone
7. Flashback
8. Worst Day
9. Relax
10. Limits
11. Burns Night
12. Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La
13. Dance Wiv Me
14. 5iliconeator
15. Greatest Fear – iTunes bonus track
16. I’m Not Alone, Deadmau5 Mix – iTunes bonus track

Keep up with Calvin Harris at his homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here are the videos for “Dance Wiv Me” (with Dizzee Rascal), “I’m Not Alone,” and “Ready for the Weekend” from his YouTube Channel: icreateddisco.

Embeds were disabled, so here are the links to view the videos for "I'm Not Alone" and "Ready for the Weekend."

"I'm Not Alone" (link)

"Ready for the Weekend" (link)

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