Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Calvin Harris – Ready For The Weekend

It’s probably going to #1. In the UK, anyway…


Chuck Eddy: I hope he plans to eat lots of cheeseburgers on the weekend, because his voice is so anorexic I’m afraid he otherwise won’t make it to Sunday.

Anthony Miccio: Thanks, Scotland, but I think we’ll stick with T-Pain.

Briony Edwards: Without Dizzee, he’s nothing.

Martin Kavka: This doesn’t even come close to “I’m Not Alone.” Harris’s voice doesn’t carry the verses; it’s too thin, and the lyrics are too sophomoric. What’s left is a pretty glorious chorus sung by Mary Pearce. But once this ends, I’m just left with the desire to listen to her voice on Up Yer Ronson’s “Are You Gonna Be There?”

Michaelangelo Matos: Harris’s I Created Disco is one of the several hundred CDs I was sent but never got around to actually playing that I ripped to my EHD for reference before either selling or giving it away, so a lot of the Brits’ weariness toward him here has more or less gone over my head. This song makes me understand. It’s skilful but also a little empty: chipper-cheerio piano plink, condensed-diva tremulous chorus, like an ad man’s idea of “new wave” once upon a different era (an analogy, not a direct comparison). And it does not improve with extra listens.

Alex Macpherson: I’ve called this talent-free wasteman a pound-shop James Murphy before, and it seems that he’s been discounted even further. From the Fisher-Price piano stuck endlessly on its default demo tune to the puny, enervated attempts at rave synth stabs which end up more like papercuts to the beat, there is nothing of worth in what he does whatsoever. It’s better than his vocals, though: Harris alternates between a morose moan which makes you feel like stabbing him and a truly horrific falsetto which makes you feel like you’re being stabbed, in the brain, with a plastic knife. At no point does he convey a remotely sympathetic or likable character. That this man has any semblance of popularity is truly baffling; the arrogance in considering this crap worthy of public consumption at all is staggering.

Peter Parrish: The rhythmic equivalent of a series of involuntary eyelid spasms.

Alex Ostroff: Harris’ production is as subtle as being hit in the head by a brick, and thus seems a better fit for stacatto piano-disco and hollering divas than Dizzee’s flow, even when lobotomized a la Holiday. The sheer relief felt upon reaching the chorus, by dint of it NOT being sung by Calvin Harris, has incited the most positive reaction I’ve ever had to the usually reviled ‘shouting house diva’.

Hillary Brown: Whenever it lies back and relaxes, as opposed to wigging out up in your face, it’s quite a bit more like my weekends and, thus, preferable. What’s the percentage of songs on which the verse beats the chorus, anyway? Tiny, but this numbers among them.

Iain Mew: If “I’m Not Alone” was a song about growing tired of going out clubbing, this is a reminiscence of when it was still a thrill. Correspondingly it’s as cozily nostalgic in sound as it is in sentiment, and a touch too safe even by Calvin Harris standards, but the belted chorus still raises a smile.

Talia Kraines: While it might not have the trancey stadium chorus of “I’m Not Alone”, “Ready for the Weekend” is a slice of pop that either makes me woop excitedly or, if I hear it on a Sunday night, feel a bit dejected.

Alfred Soto: The chorus is glorious enough to make me wonder why Harris didn’t just let Mary Pearce sing the rest of the tune; who wants a parched Brit singing over those bass and piano lines? Imagine Martha Wash guesting on a Dave Wakeling solo track.

John Seroff: Equal parts Billy Joel, Alcazar and ’80’s AM radio, “Ready for the Weekend” is an oddly over-calculated track. For what’s ostensibly meant as a “girl we goin’ OUT tonight” anthem, it has all the spontaneity of a color guard review. There’s an appealing enough heartbeat here; it just never gets around to getting down. Maybe those shoes are too tight?

Additional Scores

Martin Skidmore: [3]
Keane Tzong: [7]

12 Responses to “Calvin Harris – Ready For The Weekend”

  1. This is kind of terrible, isn’t it? I can’t even imagine dancing to it particularly – it lacks much in the way of a beat, being all drums and a dinky piano line.

    I enjoyed some previous Calvin tracks, although I was never fully sold on “I’m Not Alone”. But this is both boring and, when it reaches the screechy chorus, annoying. I’d give it [1].

  2. Also, I’m amused that you can’t collectively decide if that’s even him doing the chorus vocal.

  3. I understand most #1 hits, even when it’s really difficult to find redeeming qualities, like with ‘Boom Boom Pow’, but I just cannot understand why the two latest Calvin Harris tracks have rocketed up the charts in the UK. Is there a massive PR campaign behind it? It’s so thin and flat and generic.

  4. Did you guys catch this fellow’s twitter tantrums over bad reviews?


    imagine the buzz of making something that you love, and after 2 years you finally have something you can’t wait for other people to hear.then imagine that cd landing on the desk of “snide rich persons kid” or “pathetic london scene-FACE” then them skipping through the tracks in their lunch break, and saying “well its calvin harris isn’t it? 2 stars, he’s a dick head” but, how is it that i’ve been playing these songs to 20,000 people at festivals this summer, and it’s gone off every single time

    BECAUSE OF THE FUCKING RICH PEOPLES KIDS there are people who will like the album who wont get the album because they saw a shit review”


  5. My parents are distinctly not rich, and I think he’s a dick who makes bad records. What’s annoying is that some of them could, with some changes, be reasonable reoords.

  6. Very Nixonian of him. Not to mention a really long tweet. Anyway, can somebody explain the class distinctions Harris is talking about in that rant, for us yokels out here not versed in UK club culture? I’ve never heard the guy before, have no real interest in hearing him again, but I’m curious: Does Harris’s audience tend to lean more prole/working-class than the crowds listening to more critically approved styles of electronic dance music, or is that just a delusion on his part? If so, what might the delusion be based on?

  7. frankly, I think it’s flattering that he believes music reviews affect the sales of albums with #1 singles.

  8. As another dumb ‘murrican, I’m a little taken aback by the hate here; this sounded sorta inoffensive and flimsy. Maybe you need to hear it a zillion times for it to get annoying?

  9. It’s a series of fourteen tweets, Chuck. The second one, which reads “RICH PEOPLES KIDS GETTING GOOD REVIEWS BECAUSE MUMMY FUCKED THE JOURNO IN THE 80S,” gives me disturbingly erotic images of my mother and Larry Flick having unspeakably awful sex.

  10. Okay…But you still didn’t answer my question. And John raises a good point, too — This guy seems pretty innocuous; why do people hate him so much? (Maybe it’s the tweets?)

  11. Chuck, only two people gave him scores lower than yours.

  12. C.Harris – actually, I shouldn’t refer to him as that, given that pop already has two other prominent C.Harrises in Ciara and T.I., and he’s very much the runt of the litter. Calvin Harris has never struck me as having any sort of class dimension. I’d assumed he was middle class but I neither know nor care. Calling journalists posh is a fairly standard attack, and a huge cliché too. I’ve no idea what class his fans are because I cannot imagine who could possibly be a fan of music this stunted. It certainly doesn’t code any sort of social class.

    I don’t find him innocuous in the slightest – this kind of cheap hackwork, especially in genres which should appeal to me, is totally repellent to me. He’s a dance producer who’s somehow become successful despite being really and totally shit at producing dance records, and that galls immensely.