"Sweet Nothing" is the sixth single from the album so far, with Harris' collaboration with Kelis (Bounce), his solo track "Feel So Close", and collaborations with Rihanna ("We Found Love"), Ne-Yo ("Let’s Go"), and Example ("We’ll Be Coming Back") released prior to the album.
Well it depends on your expectations. Of the nine songs that aren’t singles already, four are cut from the same cloth as the hits: each one desperately vying to be the tune you most want to be dancing to when the realisation hits that you’re out, the night is young, and everything is brilliant.
It’s a noble undertaking, and one Calvin Harris clearly takes very seriously, no matter who he is working with. So line up, Ellie Goulding, c’mere Tinie Tempah, you want a certified Harris club banger to go? With relish? You’ve come to the right place.
Then there are the makeweights – Green Valley, Mansion, School – the leftover riffs and ideas that never quite got finished off and have clearly been thrown in as some kind of light relief amid all of the breathless urgency. School is the real oddity, a half-hearted and airless stab at G-funk, and a throwback to Calvin’s pre-Olympian past, but at least it’s an attempt to go somewhere else. The other two are just commas, a chance to breathe.
Only on Here 2 China is there a worthy variation on the formula, the sense of a producer stretching out to meet the needs of his vocalist. Dizzee Rascal, who already had his Harris makeover a while back, is the lucky recipient of a total bassquake. No whooshing, no builds, no drops, just a re-energised rapper delighted with the great big dirty fartcake he’s been given to work with.
So yes, it’s a portfolio of win for Calvin, an annual report where the graph is almost all peaks and the troughs are so far down they’re practically invisible. Champagne?
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