There’s a little bit of Calvin Harris in all of us. We all started out as skinny kids making fresh house/disco cuts , or wanting to be a professional footballer, or just ‘help people’, until we remembered money and houses and bills. Then we compromise until there’s nothing left of what we love in what we do, except the money.
Calvin Harris has, to be fair to him, done this pretty well. He’s gone from a boring man making amazing music to an amazing man – he’s about the only solvent artist left in music – making boring music. No where is this clearer than his exterior. WHilst at the start of his career he looked like the sort of person who would make electronic music in 2005, he now looks like the sort of person who own music in 2015 (which let’s face it, he basically does). A greasy haircut has been traded in for something which looks like it came out of a box. His hoodies have been burnt, Inbetweeners style. His nerdy smirk is now a world dominating, magnanimous grin.
Yet as much as Calvin Harris is owning life, the point stands that his music has become rather wank. Credit where credit’s due, it sells and so someone must like it, but the more times you listen to his recent stuff the more it resembles a Star Wars missile battle. The low point in this perfect example of How To Monetize Your Music must have been a song which was actually, really called Drinking From The Bottle. Calvin, you’re a 31 year old man. How did it feel to write a song with lyrics which sounded like they were written by Strongbow sipping 12 year olds?
There’s surely no recovery from that. (Not that Calvin Harris would have given a fuck what I or anyone else would’ve thought. Christ, if I knew how to make $30 million dollars a year from shit music I would.) Unless you simply start making good music again, like this. But I’m stuck between two minds. Is this genuinely good or am I just overly thankful for the lack of drop?
Whatever the answer is, you can be assured that Calvin Harris has not suddenly regressed into the money forgoing, music loving boy he was. The sound in this new song is solidly, consistently 4/4 not because it sounds better than the the firework imitating of old, but because it will make him more money, or at least he probably thinks that it will. He’s making a judgement call and betting that the world (or, to be honest the US) has moved on from Drops and on to Nice Beats. It’s already happened in the UK, with Disclosure having kicked off a whole wave of deep house hits, from Ready For Your Love to Prayer In C. The common denominators amongst these songs are a waspish, light vocal, a prominent melody and a big beat with no drop. And low and behold, they all feature here.
Calvin Harris doesn’t care about what these requirements happen to be. He just knows that he will perfect the formula, and the Calvin Harris juggernaut will roll on until the end of time. So raise a glass for Calvin Harris, the rock guitarist turned insurance salesman in us all.