When I make haste decisions and I’m wrong, I fess up! At the end of 2014, I ranked Calvin Harris’ new CD, “Motion”, as my 14th favorite album of the year.
However, I did the 31-year-old Scottish singer and record producer a huge disservice and I felt I had to let you know that the album, on recent listens, should have placed much higher in my 2014 year-end countdown.
So, I’m writing this blog today about the album, so more people become aware of how fantastic it is.
Calvin Harris is still becoming a household name in the United States.
However, in the dance club world, he’s a hit-making God. “Forbes” magazine reports that he’s the highest-paid DJ of 2013 and 2014 and he’ll likely make 2015 a three-peat.
I bought my first Calvin Harris CD, “18 Months”, in the fall of 2012, and it quickly became one of my favorite CDs. It ended up being my third favorite album of 2012.
Here in America, people know the inescapable worldwide smash, “We Found Love” featuring Rihanna that spent ten weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
However, the album also featured “Feels So Close”, which Harris sang lead vocals on. It reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Along, with the aforementioned Rihanna song and “Feels So Close”, “Let’s Go” featuring Ne-Yo ,”I Need Your Love” with Ellie Goulding, and “Sweet Nothing” with Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, also became huge radio hits in America and each of those songs reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In all, ten of the album’s fifteen songs charted on the official U.K. singles chart with nine of them reaching the Top Ten.
That put Calvin ahead of Michael Jackson in U.K. music history with the most Top Ten singles from one studio album.
After ten international hits from “18 Months”, Calvin followed it up two years later with “Motion” on Halloween 2014.
It’s a superb album and sadly, with me getting caught up in the holidays, vacations, and real life, I failed to give it a fair shake in my countdown of my favorite albums of 2014.
The album is already on its sixth hit in the U.K. with the first three, “Under Control” (with Alesso and Hurts), “Summer” (with Calvin on vocals), and “Blame” (John Newman on vocals), all topping the chart.
Here in the U.S., “Summer” reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Blame” reached #19.
“Outside” featuring Ellie Goulding is currently one of the ten most played songs on American Top 40 radio now.
“Pray To God” featuring the Haim, an American rock group made up of three sisters, is currently one of the hottest songs in U.S. dance clubs and I hope Top 40 radio welcomes the song after “Outside” starts its move down the chart.
Two more favorites of mine are “Open Wide” featuring Big Sean (WARNING: the lyrics are adult in nature – NFSW) and “Dollar Signs” featuring Tinashe.
Outside of the hits, “Faith” and “Love Now” are perfect pop songs and “Slow Acid” is instrumental bliss, just as “Awooga” was on “18 Months”.
Harris keeps the beats pulsing on “It Was You”, “Overdrive”, and “Burnin”
And, there’s also an incredible ballad, “Ecstasy” featuring Hurts, who also sings on the first release, “Under Control”.
And, just as Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding did on “18 Hours”, Harris provides star power on “Motion” with Gwen Stefani on “Together”.
Now that I’ve listened to “Motion” on what seems like repeat lately, it’s definitely one of my favorite albums of 2014. It’s not too late to check it out and make it a part of your collection.
And, if club music and dance beats aren’t your thing, there’s something else that Calvin Harris works very hard on — his body! That’s why he’s a model for Armani.
CALVIN HARRIS’ “MOTION” — GRADE: A