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Calvin Harris - Ready For The Weekend

Calvin Harris

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE main problem with producing dance music that appeals to the masses is that it doesn’t have to be particularly good. Of the moment, yes. Catchy for those that are intoxicated, for sure. Lasting… maybe not.

And so we come to one of the main problems surrounding Calvin Harris’ sophomore album Ready For The Weekend. You can well imagine that it’s cool mix of house, dance and chillout will appeal to those with their finger on the pulse of modern trends. His is a buzz name. But his music has a vapid quality. It doesn’t leave that much of an impression.

By his own admission, tracks like Ready For The Weekend were made with one eye on creating stadium dance anthems. That’s to say, huge floor-fillers that are great for dropping in the middle of a party, but which tend to blur into one forgettable whole over the course of a dedicated listening session.

Ready For The Weekend, the LP, is being billed as the soundtrack to the summer. Ironically, much like our own UK one, it’s a bit of a washout. The bright lights fade quickly, the outlook is gloomy.

The electronic influence and house-orientated back beats occasionally flourish, but it’s a soulless experience in the final analysis. There’s very little risk-taking. And only the odd track which really stands out and could stand the test of time.

Tracks like Stars Come Out are packed full of repetitive lyrics and loopy electronic waves, and seem geared towards getting the party started on a warm Ibiza night, while the track that immediately follows, You Used To Hold Me, offers only slight variations on that same formula.

Harris fares better when offering something of a little more substance, such as the comedown track Blue, which nevertheless still manages to replace a nice acoustic sound with a tired electronic one and ruin the emotion with wave after wave of blips.

Of the tracks that do work, former single I’m Not Alone is an easy highlight, despite the Balaeric influence that’s found in the synths, and Worst Day almost convinces you that OutKast could have written it, thanks to a slick beat, some sparkling acoustic guitar and a useful rap from Izza Kizza. Again, though, it gets repetitive and kind of highlights Harris’ shortcomings as a writer of lyrics.

Burns Night drops a lazy, trip-hoppy beat and some woozy synths to offer a chillout moment that provides a welcome breather from the uptempo stuff, and 5Iliconeator draws things to a sombre finale that’s effective as a morning after remedy.

But in the main, Ready For The Weekend wants you to party hard, have a good time and not really catch your breath to think about it or remember much afterwards. Like that kind of lifestyle, though, it eventually becomes tiring and not very wholesome. You’ll want to escape.

Download picks: I’m Not Alone, Worst Day, Burns Night, 5Iliconeator

Track listing:

  1. The Rain
  2. Ready For The Weekend
  3. Stars Come Out
  4. You Used To Hold Me
  5. Blue
  6. I’m Not Alone
  7. Flashback
  8. Worst Day – Calvin Harris & Izza Kizza
  9. Relax
  10. Limits
  11. Burns Night
  12. Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La
  13. Dance Wiv Me
  14. 5iliconeator