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The Journal Gazette

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Sunday, July 16, 2017 1:00 am

Music Review: Calvin Harris

'Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1' Calvin Harris 

A photo of a sun-kissed, empty beach is on the front of DJ/producer Calvin Harris' new CD and there's a palm tree on the back. That's appropriate for what is a strong contender for album of the summer.

The 10-track “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” is a slick triumph for Harris, who has brought 21 of his superstar friends along to make a CD as cool as a Popsicle and as sticky as a pool-side cocktail. “Release, let go, and have a good time,” is a lyric that sums up the record.

It kicks off with “Slide,” featuring a moody Frank Ocean and the hotter-than-hot group Migos. The gorgeously layered song signals Harris is pushing beyond previous club hits like “This Is What You Came For.”

If we're judged by the company we keep, then Harris is a musical magnet. In addition to Migos and Ocean, the album also features Future, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Big Sean, John Legend, Khalid, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, Young Thug, Snoop Dogg and two appearances by Pharrell Williams.

An album with so many guests would presumably topple over, but somehow Harris weaves all the voices, styles and grooves into a coherent, breezy hip-hop and EDM tapestry. It recalls Moby's 1999 monster hit-collection “Play” – the last time an insular techno techie became a bona fide music god.

Yes, the CD has a curious title. But at least it offers some hope – that there's a Vol. 2.

– Mark Kennedy, Associated Press