Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 Review
Calvin Harris ain't no rookie. He's five album's deep and he's approaching nearly a decade in the game. Calvin Harris is a Scottish DJ and producer who's known for his techno/EDM style beats, which have churned out numerous hits, especially when it's an hip-hop on the vocals. So he made the wise decision to make entire hip-hop album with some of the biggest names in the game. And it might have been the best decision of his career.
The album opens up with the mega-hit 'Slide' featuring Frank Ocean, Offset, and Quavo. "Do you slide on all your nights like this?/ Do you try on all your nights like this," Frank Ocean chants over the silky chorus before giving a verse of his own. Frank Ocean killed the chorus, but the song hits its high point with the two Migos verses. Quavo's verse is first, and he gives a quick 8 bar with his signature melodic sound, but it's Offset who delivered the killer verse, proving why he's recognized rapping wise as the best Migo.
'Cash Out' is the next track on the album and it features PARTYNEXTDOOR, Schoolboy Q, and D.R.A.M. We get two standout verses from Schoolboy Q while PARTYNEXTDOOR holds down chorus duties on here. D.R.A.M. doesn't make an appearance until the song is nearly three minutes deep, but he provides a smooth outro about partying as they did in the 70s and smoking some good gas.
The album hits its highest point on the third track 'Heatstroke' featuring Young Thug, Pharrell, and Ariana Grande. Thugger intros the song by trying to persuade a young lady to hear him out and then he proceeds to drop bars over a beat perfectly made for him. " Tell me how you feel right now,cause all I wanna do is keep it real right now/ I'm tryna beat it up, Beat Pills right now, Athletic in the sheets, I got skills right now," Thug raps on the first verse, displaying the different flow that's made him one of the biggest artists out right now. Young Thug follows up a strong first verse with what might be the best verse on the entire album with his second, fully displaying Young Thug's ability to take over an entire song.
Other standout tracks are 'Holiday' featuring John Legend, Snoop Dogg, and Takeoff, 'Skrt On Me' featuring Nicki Minaj, 'Hard To Love' featuring Jessie Reyez, and 'Faking It' featuring Lil Yachty and Kehlani.
'Holiday' features John Legend on the chorus and a verse from Snoop, but it was the last Migo, Takeoff, who stole the show here. Takeoff tends to be the forgotten about Migo, but he's proved he's just as talented as his bandmates and proved it again on this song by outrapping an OG. Not bad at all for a 23-year-old.
'Skrt On Me' is my favorite song on the album. Calvin Harris snapped with production on this song, creating a reggae/Caribbean style beat that Nicki Minaj floated on. Nicki Minaj is Caribbean, Trinidadian to be exact, and she sounded right at home on this beat, which had me questioning why she hasn't been on more reggae beats. She sings the first two verses, but raps on the last verse, giving us some signature Minaj bars.
'Faking It' is another super strong cut from Funk Wav Bounces. Kehlani adds her pop touch to the song, singing about why her lover likes to act like they don't care bout her. She handles the first two verses and the chorus until Lil Yachty pops into the song with some brutal honesty, "I'm not gonna act like I don't love ya baby Cause deep in my mind, girl, I know I do/ Tried to search all through the world not well, but I can't find a girl that lives close like you." Yachty falls deeper into nostalgia as he continues to rap about the memories he has with this girl, even going as deep as admitting he can't eat his favorite food without thinking about her.
'Funk Wav Bounces' was a genius idea by Calvin Harris, and its reward is being one of the best albums of 2017. He dropped an album filled with good vibes in the middle of summer that we all can enjoy for the rest of the year. He stayed true to his roots and included edm/techno influence on cuts like 'Slide.' He made club and dancehall music on tracks such as 'Skrt On Me' and 'Cash Out.' He got monster verses from some of the biggest names in rap like Migos, Young Thug, and Big Sean, enticing the hardcore hip-hop fans to give this album a try. Calvin Harris appealed to a new fan base while keeping his own happy, that's what an artist is supposed to do. Calvin Harris found a formula that will work with Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, and hopefully, Vol.2 isn't too far down the line.
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