Sunday, February 10, 2008

Album Review: Calvin Harris – I Created Disco

A wise woman once surmised that “girls just wanna have fun.” This is true, but it seems that sometimes the boys want to get in on this here fun. Case in point: Calvin Harris. So much does Mister Harris want to have a good time that he made his own fun, otherwise known as the modestly-titled I Created Disco. Lest that frighten you, don’t worry, there’s nothing discoball-spandexy-hustle-beplatformed about this album, perhaps it’s just a clever title laughing in the face of the lack of disco on the cd. You’re a lot more likely to have images of hi-top Nikes, excessive gold chains, and brightly-colored track jackets dancing in your head while listening to this than anything at all related to disco. Or, as Calvin’s official bio states, it’s an album all about how he reinvented disco. Because if this is disco, it ain’t your parents’ disco. And while the question of whether a rebirth of disco is a good idea is still up in the air, for now it’s a party at Calvin’s house, and we’re all invited.

There are 14 ways to fall in love with Calvin’s cheeky brand of bombast on I Created Disco; 14 tongue-in-cheek, delightfully faux conceits that are made for nothing if not having, dare I say, fun. As the man himself says, “My tunes aren't supposed to invoke deep thought within people; they're just to get you dancing. But musically it is for the brain - it's not music for stupid people.” And dance you shall. But thanks to the oft-silly lyrics you’ll also giggle while you shake, and marvel at the complexities of the sampling and production while undulating around the room. Despite being a nonstop party of an album, it’s also a very intelligently put together record.

Most girls will tell you that a sense of humor is kinda foxy, and Harris has humor in spades. “Colours,” dedicated to the wardrobe choices of potential mates, features lines like “it’s all very well stepping out in black and white/but you’re no girlfriend of mine if you’re doing that, right.” Unavoidably, ridiculously, impossibly catchy “The Girls,” which I’ve loved up on previously, states in a variety of ways that Harris kinda digs the ladies (and the feeling is mutual). “Acceptable in the 80’s” is Calvin’s funky little shoutout to the twentysomethings born during the Reagan years of Iran Contra and trickle-down economics. And “Love Souvenir” is the album’s slow jam, a track that is begging for Al Green or Isaac Hayes to lay down some super smooth vocals.

He’s a little bit Hot Chip, a little bit LCD Soundsystem, and a whole lot of a good time. If you’re looking for an album to put on for shits and giggles, drinking copious amounts of alcohol before going out to drink even more, or just whenever you need a little aural lift, you couldn’t do much better than I Created Disco.

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