Calvin Harris 18 Months

Calvin Harris18 Months
The title of Harris's new LP, 18 Months, is celebratory, as the last year-and-a-half has been very kind to Calvin Harris. His mainstream appeal has been secured and his somewhat ubiquitous, poppy electronic sound has dominated the airwaves for what seems like, well, 18 months. There is a definitive air of jubilance on the LP that's hard to miss. The problem is that it feels like listening to a constant stream of commercials. "Drink from the Bottle," featuring UK rapper Tinie Tempah, screams, "buy some Vodka!," "Sweet Nothing," featuring the equally prosperous Florence Welch (of Florence & the Machine), could soundtrack an IKEA ad — beautiful people buying ugly things. Using your music to flog materialistic items is nothing new and is usually a sign of success, so good for you, Calvin, but the stylistic choices are all over the place. Harris is attempting to tick as many boxes as he can at once. Anthemic? Check! Pop star on the hook? Check! Vaguely dubstep-esque breakdown? Check! There are some enjoyable moments, such as the 303-infused "Mansion" and the genuinely funky "School," but these are tracks sans guests where the music is allowed to breathe and is all the better for it. 18 Months has all the makings of a smash hit, but if you're looking for substance, you're better off looking elsewhere. (Roc Nation/Columbia/Ultra)