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CD Review: Calvin Harris’ ‘18 Months’

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Annie Zaleski

The Details

Two stars
CALVIN HARRIS
18 Months

Calvin Harris’ rapid evolution from ’80s-inspired electronic artist into sought-after EDM superstar came at a price—his quirky keyboard work and cheeky attitude were replaced by formulaic dance music with a lack of substance. The Scotsman’s third album, 18 Months, is a collection of tunes with tired inspirations: Daft Punk’s space-funk (“Iron”), whooshing Top 40 techno (“Drinking From the Bottle”) and trend-hopping pop stars (“We Found Love,” featuring Rihanna). Apart from a few brief, engaging instrumentals—the old-school funk of “School” and the robot-rock of “Mansion”—the project’s highest points come courtesy of its guests. Kelis’ sassy rasp sails atop new wave synths throughout “Bounce,” Dizzee Rascal’s syncopated delivery slices through the hip-hop grooves of “Here 2 China,” and Florence Welch’s desperate vocal warbles swirl on “Sweet Nothing.” Mostly, though, 18 Months features too many pedestrian club jams to feel innovative, or particularly memorable.

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