Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris releases the best album of his career with his star-studded Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.
33-year old DJ and producer Calvin Harris continues to roll out hits. Nothing but hits! Enough flattering – we don’t want him to get the “big head.” Though if he does, it’s understandable, considering he “puts in work” on Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. Here are the top-five songs from Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.
Calvin Harris kicks off Funk Wav Bounces with a bang thanks to promo single “Slide,” featuring Frank Ocean and Migos. “Slide” served as the first indication Harris was switching up his usual style. The production is superb, characterized by good vibes and a killer groove. Things commence with Ocean’s familiar, alt-R&B brand. At times, he uses high-pitch shifted vocals, but listeners are also treated to his natural voice, in its illustrious beauty. Among the best moments is the catchy, glorious hook. Migos – Quavo and Offset only – handle the second and third verses. It’s all flex action.
The hits keep rollin’ on “Rollin,” enlisting trap favorite Future and the up-and-coming American Teen, Khalid. Harris sets the tone early with his continual, funky backdrop, owning the first 40 seconds. Following the swag showcase, Khalid lends his glorious vocals on one of the best hooks of Funk Wav Bounces. Future takes the reins on the verses, with respectable results. While a smoother rapper might’ve been a better fit, all in all, “Rollin” offers truly enticing ear candy.
#3. Faking It”
In contention for best song of Funk Wav Bounces is the penultimate track, “Faking It,” featuring Kehlani and Lil Yachty. Kehlani is on autopilot – she’s best when she’s edgy and brutally honest. More surprising is the fact that Lil Yachty drops a presentable rap. Yeah, the “pepperonis” lyric could’ve been omitted, but Yachty has certainly done worse.
#4. “Cash Out”
“Cash Out” is a much more bizarre collaboration pairing ScHoolboy Q, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and D.R.A.M. Remarkably, it works much better than expected. Once more, Harris’ production is top-notch and serves as the catalyst for the three musicians. ScHoolboy Q is the most surprising of the three featured guests, but with the sound evoking West Coast G-Funk, it’s fuel for his artistic fire on the verses. PARTYNEXTDOOR handles chorus duties soundly, but it is the harmonized vocals of D.R.A.M., who concludes the song, that really steals the show.
“Feels” is the perfect example of a likable, flawed record. Featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean, “Feels” has star power, even when it falls short lyrically and thematically. “Feels” exhibits short-lived nebulousness before one of the most infectious grooves of the album kicks in. Summer is written all over it. These feels are care-free by all means. Pharrell handles the vocal duties from the jump, sound true to himself vocally and artistically. The lyrics are innocent enough, but not particularly profound or arousing. The hook, courtesy of Perry, is okay, not game changing. Big Sean drops a predictable verse, but it feels right contextually. Verdict: undercooked, star-studded record that sort of gets a pass, for some reason.
All said and done, Calvin Harris releases the best album of his career with his star-studded Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. Some of the collaborations he puts together seem risky, but end up working well. This is a singles album, and it accomplishes it intent without question. Perfect for summer.
Gems: “Slide,” “Cash Out,” “Rollin,” “Feels” & “Faking It”