15 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whether it’s Big Sean’s provocative punchlines aboard the synthy bounce of “Open Wide” or HAIM’s glistening harmonies on “Pray to God”, Motion has the feel of a VIP pop party. But despite the bustling guest list—which also includes Gwen Stefani and Tinashe—Calvin Harris’ fifth album is more than just a showcase for his imposing contacts book. “Slow Acid” shows his ear for ‘80s-tinged instrumental fire and “Summer” tempers club bombast with the Scotsman’s plaintive vocals.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whether it’s Big Sean’s provocative punchlines aboard the synthy bounce of “Open Wide” or HAIM’s glistening harmonies on “Pray to God”, Motion has the feel of a VIP pop party. But despite the bustling guest list—which also includes Gwen Stefani and Tinashe—Calvin Harris’ fifth album is more than just a showcase for his imposing contacts book. “Slow Acid” shows his ear for ‘80s-tinged instrumental fire and “Summer” tempers club bombast with the Scotsman’s plaintive vocals.

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About Calvin Harris

Talk about an unexpected career trajectory. In 2007, 23-year-old Calvin Harris released I Created Disco, a cheeky shot across dance music’s bow that presented him as Scotland’s brow-arched answer to LCD Soundsystem. Fast-forward a few years, and the scruffy fellow playing house-party host in the “Merrymaking at My Place” video is suddenly baring oil-slicked abs on Calvin Klein billboards. What happened, of course, is that Harris (born Adam Richard Wiles in 1984) traded up from the Amiga computer of his teens, developed some of the best studio chops in the business with deep-house rollers like 2013's “Thinking About You,” and helped spark EDM’s pop crossover with hits for Rihanna, Florence Welch, Ellie Goulding, and others. Along the way, he became one of the 2010s’ first DJ/producer/songwriter polymaths to earn top billing even on the songs in which he didn’t sing. No stranger to pyro-lit main stages—his percussive, synth-strafed 2014 single “C.U.B.A.” is big-room house at its most gargantuan—Harris has resisted getting boxed into any one sound. On 2017’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, he lays down a set of slinky R&B jams for Frank Ocean, Migos, and Young Thug, while the 2018 singles “Promises,” with Sam Smith, and “One Kiss,” with Dua Lipa, proved just how versatile his vision of pop can be.

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