Another year, another summer has begun for us.
Summer is considered to be a lot of peoples’ favourite season. This time brings out the best in many people. The warm sun, going to the beach, chilling at a barbecue, and driving along the free road while vibing to the hit songs of the year provide so many memories for people between May to August. Everyone has their summer playlist that they listen to on repeat. But what people tend to forget is that there was an artist who created an album composed of some of the biggest music stars and a fun, relaxing feel. And surprisingly, this is not talking about Drake’s newest studio album, Honestly Nevermind.
The album that is being described is Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 by Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris. Released in June of 2017, it consists of 10 songs featuring artists ranging from R&B artist Frank Ocean (who needs to come back to the music scene) to 90’s West Coast rap icon Snoop Dogg. Since almost 5 years have passed since the release of this masterpiece, it may be time to reflect back on the album and how it captured the essence of summer in modern times.
To begin, a majority of the album has collaborations between artists that have very little in common in terms of their music styles. Despite this, when playing the album from start to finish, it feels as if you are living through the day of being at the beach or a resort with your friends. The first instance of this feeling comes during the very first song on the album: “Slide”. This song consists of Frank Ocean, one of the most influential artists of the early to mid-2010’s and the Migos, a rap group who was on the rise in 2017. “Slide” was a hit song, filled with its vibrant piano piece and bass guitar. The song portrays a visual image of one relaxing underneath the palm trees of a warm place like California and looking at the clear blue sky not thinking of anything else. Frank’s soothing vocals along with the Migos’ rapping on the up-tempo beat make this a certified summer banger.
Another example of a unique collaboration is the fourth track on the album: “Rollin”. The song is sung by pop and R&B superstar Khalid and trap icon Future. This is a great song to drive along a highway with friends on a road trip. What seems like an odd combination turns out to work out very well as Khalid and Future exchange verses on the song with ease. Khalid’s main hook captivates the listener right away: “I’ve been rollin’ on the freeway, I’ve been riding 85, I’ve been thinking way too much, And I’m way too gone to drive.”
Two other songs that were well-recognized included the third song on the album, “Heatstroke”, and the eighth song on the album, “Feels”. They both comprise the following: famous music producer Pharrell Williams, a pop music superstar (Ariana Grande and Katy Perry, respectively) and a widely-known hip-hop artist (Young Thug and Big Sean). Both have an 80’s type feel to the melody and rhythm of the song, which is something that Calvin Harris has been known for in the past (Heck, one of his old songs is literally called “Acceptable in the 80s”). These songs are more suited for times when people are just relaxing on the couch and simply being lazy.
Finally, the last song of the album brings it all together. Canadian artist Jessie Reyez sings the song “Hard To Love” which is a nice, soothing piece to listen to after a roller coaster of upbeat, funky songs. The guitar strings and light drums play in the background while Reyez’s singing calms down the listener and puts them in a relaxing mood. Add on top the album cover of the ocean view with the glaring sun, and you have a wonderful song to play while viewing the sun setting down for the night (which is a nice way to end the listening experience for this album).
With Calvin releasing a new song “Potion” featuring pop superstar Dua Lipa and rapper Young Thug, there have been speculations about Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 potentially coming out soon in the near future. And fans have been wondering if it can match up to the current masterpiece that is Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. Who knows? For now, give Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 a full listen. It’s the equivalent of an unlikely chemical reaction turning out successfully. It’s sure to make your summer a whole lot more memorable. Let’s give Calvin Harris his flowers with this masterpiece of music.
Funk Wav Bounces. Vol. 1 Album Cover (Background Image)
Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 Album Cover. Just Jared, 2017.
Calvin Harris Image
Calvin Harris standing. Spotify.
Frank Ocean Image
Frank Ocean sitting. Discogs.
Jessie Reyez Image
Now Playing: Jessie Reyez. DNAMAG, 2018.
RO.LEXX, Khalid. Editor’s Picks, 2019.