Scottish remixer, songwriter, former bedroom artist, MySpace star, and finally, major-label recording artist on EMI, Calvin Harris released his debut album of electronic dance music with snatches of the Human League, or maybe more accurately the League Unlimited Orchestra, in the summer of 2007, including two Top Ten singles, "Acceptable in the 80s" and "The Girls." The former track is a slice of tongue-in-cheek disco-pop for all those born in the decade after dance music took over the world, and the latter extols the virtues of all types of girls (even those carrying a little bitty extra weight), with political correctness abounding as he name-checks that he likes black, white, Asian, and mixed-race girls along with at least half-a-dozen different nationalities. "Vegas" was released as a vinyl-only track, and one can picture cruising down the Strip in an open-top car, the mobile equivalent of a boogie box or ghetto blaster turned up to maximum, as all the local girls' heads turn to see who's in town. Several of the tracks are instrumentals, including "Certified," "Love Souvenir" (a cool, end-of-the-evening jazzy number), and the title track, although this does have a monologue of Harris explaining how and when he really did create disco. "Traffic Cops" is less than a minute of honking horns, but if you thought that was short, blink once and you would certainly miss the track "Vault Character," eight seconds long with just four electronic notes down the scale. Harris doesn't need to sing -- his electronic noises from the keyboard are quite sufficient -- but when he does sing there is a hint of the accent and attitude of the Streets' Mike Skinner, especially on "Colours" as he sings "I don't care what you dress like or what you wear/But please make sure baby you've got some colours in there," and his rhyming of the title phrase from "Neon Rocks" with "pink socks," which comes with a reminder: "Stop me if I've said it before/I keep my secret stash in the drawer." In keeping with the gaudy neon disco theme, the album was also released as a limited edition with a glow-in-the-dark cover.
© Sharon Mawer /TiVo