Two years on from his gold-selling debut I Created Disco and Calvin Harris returns with the much anticipated follow up, one that reveals he has quite a few shocks and surprises up his sleeve, especially for those expecting a similar sounding album to the first. With Ready For The Weekend Calvin Harris has certainly undergone a change of direction (as exemplified by recent number one single ‘I’m Not Alone’), although whether this change has taken Harris in the right direction remains to be seen.
The album is the sound of Harris moving away from the edgier indie-esque disco of his debut on to a more mainstream techno/dance vibe. The tracks are predominantly laden with synth-pop and loud techno beats, all of which are sprinkled with lyrics which, quite frankly, could have done with a bit more work, particularly on songs such as Blue (‘I’ve got to stop thinking of you, and move on to someone new, but everything around me is blue, the colour that reminds me of you’) and Worst Day (‘my first mistake was letting you into my life’¦my second mistake was allowing you into my bed’¦’). Aside from the lyrics being decidedly juvenile to begin with, it certainly sounds odd listening to break-up sentiments set to techno beats.
Highlights include ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La’ for its upbeat simplicity and obviously last summer’s hit with Dizzee Rascal’ Dance Wiv Me’, while instrumentals ‘Burns Night’ and album closer ‘5iliconeater’ are also accomplished and aurally pleasing. Harris has really indulged himself in mid-nineties dance but fused it with a more commercial stadium sounds of recent house and techno, to the point that his appearance on the bills at the recent Tiesto festival in London, Oxegen and Fatboy Slim come as no surprise.
Undoubtedly a few of the tracks on this album will become dance floor classics of the coming season, due in no small part to the accompanying female vocals that set them apart and let them resonate with classic dance era nostalgia. Most of the album is passable without being particularly remarkable and the tracks all gel well together, middle of the road stuff that isn’t too offensive but fails to make any lasting impact on the listener either. Best listened to while preparing for a night on the tiles, when you want to raise your mood rather than connect with anything deeper.