Since the release of “Funk Wav Bounces, Vol 1” in 2017, there has yet to be a project more synonymous with Summertime. When the single “Potion” was released in late May featuring Dua Lipa and Young Thug, many fans were hoping for the long-awaited volume two. With 14 tracks packed with wide-ranging features, Calvin Harris finally released the album three months later.
The obvious positive of the album is the extensive list of artists, including rappers such as Young Thug, Busta Rhymes and 21 Savage to pop stars such as Justin Timberlake and Charlie Puth. It is similar to the approach of the first volume of having the heavy-hitting artists create classic hits.
The best example is “New To You,” which features not only Normani but Tinashe and Offset. Often these tracks centered around bright keys, hazy guitar riffs and springy bass.
The combinations of artists do not make up for the low points of this album. The production is repetitive and equates to the dollar store version of volume one. The pairing of artists, though interesting, is not correct many times.
The best example is “Somebody Else,” featuring Jorja Smith and Lil Durk. The UK singer Jorja gives one of the best performances on the project, but Lil Durk completely shifts the mood and derails the rest of the song.
Finally, some of the features were bland or paired incorrectly. For instance, in “Ready Or Not,” Busta gives some stunning bars with high energy, but the beat was not for him. In addition, the mixing could have been better.
For an album that was initially highly anticipated, the final product is disappointing. In addition, there seemed to be a lack of promotion for such a big album; many people did not realize it was released until later. This album expects to sell under 25k in the first week. To put it in perspective, this is less than Jack Harlow's sophomore album, Chance the Rapper's "Big Day" and “Live Life Fast” by Roddy Ricch. A disappointing album in general, especially for Calvin Harris.
I would give the project a 4 out of 10.
“New To You”: