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’18 Months’: Calvin Harris pulls out all the stops, starts worldwide trend with new album

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Following up Ready For The Weekend, Calvin Harris delivers even more hits, radio anthems, and dance floor pleasers with his 2012 studio album. 18 Months comes with the most popular and commercial-friendly productions of Harris’ career, but is cut with interludes of signature sound that highlight the superstar’s appeal in the pop culture arena.

Individually, some of the offerings from 18 Months may feel outplayed, but revisited with the completion of the album, Calvin shoots us a reminder that he’s got countless classics under his belt. Oldies such as “Bounce” or “Feel So Close,” and even Rihanna’s “We Found Love” deserve new appreciation in context with Calvin’s unsullied album.

18 Months kicks off with “Green Valley,” a hypnotizing, indie beat and vocal that is reminiscent of throwback Calvin material. However, within two minutes, the ever-familiar “Bounce” drops for an instant boost of dance jubilation. Hardly switching up vibes, “Feel So Close” follows with its sing-along charm and pop-welcoming chords and melody.

Calvin Harris – Green Valley (Original Mix)

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In the same vain, the album continues with Rihanna’s airwave dominator “We Found Love.” The peak of heartening melodies – charmingly sung by the world’s biggest pop star – pays testament to Calvin’s well roundedness and longevity as a producer of music of all spirits. The next track, “We’ll Be Coming Back,” is reminiscent of a younger Calvin with bouncy lullaby-esque chords and an indie-like vocal that embrace joyous production qualities.

Calvin Harris – We’ll Be Coming Back (Original Mix)

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Next up is more interlude than complete song of its own. “Mansion” is as evocative of the Calvin we know and love as it gets – an intricate instrumental plugged with drips, drops, snaps and an eventual plunge into distortion.  Two minutes of this savory sound isn’t enough, but there is no complaining to be done when “Iron” is introduced. Co-produced with Nicky Romero, “Iron” is the selection most appealing to the big room-savvy facade of modern dance music, boasting mastered electro from Romero and a habitual vocal from camp Harris.

Calvin Harris – Mansion (Original Mix)

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New to our ears, the never before heard “I Need Your Love” follows as the most charismatic tune 18 Months has to offer. This is Calvin at his best on the production end, featuring harmony-packed production elements such as convoluted chord work and elated instrumental riffs – not to mention, a fascinating vocal from Ellie Goulding that serves as the icing to the cake of a proper gem.

Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love (Original Mix)

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Hitting hard with a return to his party-starting temperament, the next track redefines good vibes with festive plea. “Drinking From The Bottle” comes as an up-tempo club banger with fast paced synths, pulsating drumline, and singing from Mr. Miami 2 Ibiza — Tinie Tempah. With emotions peaking, the Florence Welch-assisted “Sweet Nothing” instills an out of body listening experience. Filled with trickling synth work, relentless bass, and uplifting melody, “Sweet Nothing” is the tune that sets the tone for 18 Months and is the unanimous album favorite.

Calvin Harris feat Tinie Tempa – Drinking From The Bottle (Original Mix)

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Retreating a few notches, Calvin eases his way into another classic-resonating interlude – “School” — that clocks in under two minutes with jazz savoir-faire flare. “Here 2 China” stands out alone of the album as a hip-hop track with a moombah contribution from Dillon Francis. Perhaps the most frenetic offering, “Here 2 China” provides 18 Months with some serious zing.

Calvin Harris & Dillon Francis – Here 2 China (Original Mix)

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Turning back the clock to a rave-favorite, “Awooga” takes hold with its bi-polar dance floor contagion. Drifting between melodic pulsation and a beat that keeps the feet moving, “Awooga” is an immortal track for the dance floors and proves prolonged existence as a highlight from Calvin’s latest album. Similar to “We Found Love,” “Let’s Go” follows as a radio-favorite – only featuring the seducing singing of Ne-Yo rather than Rihanna. With a rapidly building synthetic introduction and catchy bassline, Calvin breeds dance with pop like no one has done before. The album comes to a close with “Thinking About You,” a nu-disco styled dance tune that wraps up with signature fashion.

Calvin Harris – Thinking About You (Original Mix)

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Conclusion

Rounding out his top-40 productions with trademark sounding interludes, Calvin Harris connects the dots for a well-rounded studio album with 18 Months.  Linking his pop and dance appel with groundbreaking production, Harris gives new life to tunes that have seemed outplayed, and clears the air for refreshing composition. Before listening to the album through and through, “Calvin Harris” went viral and became a worldwide trend on Twitter upon the album’s release. Given a chance, beginning through end, 18 Months certainly deserves that type of broad recognition.

Rating: 4/5

Purchase: iTunes

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