Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep is Your Love

Deep enough to sustain a theme across a whole day…


Mo Kim: About as deep as the selection of plaid shirts at your nearest H&M store.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Calvin Harris getting into the deep haus game of dullness is no surprise, and in all fairness he has no reason to do well here. This is less a slight upon Calvin’s career himself (which honestly I’ve never cared for), and more just on how UK house feels like the most toxic muck and mire of retreads, the kind of stuff that lines sewer reservoirs in Neptune, New Jersey comprised of 40 year old chemicals and baseball cards discarded the wrong way. The vocoder part certainly sounds as mutated, with some stupid accent being thrown in to make it sound cool, and the main vocal could’ve been much better performance wise. But he’s got a weird edge here that’s a lot more Audio Rehab than “Oh hey, I have to compete with Disclosure and Route 94.” So give the boy a pat on the back.

Will Adams: It’s such a stylistic departure for Harris that I’m suspect about whether his name functions less as a collaborator’s credit and more as a springboard for Disciples. In either case, the star is the uncredited Ina Wroldsen, whose trembling, anxious performance contrasts wonderfully with the tubular bass and modulated vocal samples.

David Sheffieck: This is a solid vocal showcase for Ina Wroldsen, who’s written for Jess Glynne and Leona Lewis previously. There’s a quaver in her voice that sells the song better than anything either Harris or Disciples manage, and demonstrates a lot more character than heard on her solo single last year. Shame that it’s on a track that’s otherwise anonymous, and shame that the track can’t find space to credit her for it.

Thomas Inskeep: A better-than-average Calvin Harris track, a) because it’s more house-y than EDM, and b) because of its very subtle callback to Blaze’s song of the same title. That said, Blaze is a 10, this is a 5.

Alfred Soto: Neither a Bee Gees nor Rapture cover but recherché Tony Moran.

Josh Langhoff: A nice piece of housecraft by singer Ina Wroldsen and the Disciples, transformed through whatever subtle alchemy and/or Machiavellian machinations Calvin Harris uses to turn nice pieces of housecraft into CHART GOLD. I get the feeling Harris sees himself as Rumpelstiltskin, when in fact he’s closer to the gold-hungry king. Regardless of who contributed what, it works. I will now amuse myself by imagining Jesus singing it to me and me singing it to Jesus simultaneously.

Crystal Leww: American pop music has gotten so good at cribbing from the UK in the last couple of years that I’m not at all surprised to hear that UK pop house is the latest in the long line of trends that we’ve jumped on. Yes, I know that Harris is from the UK, but no one can deny that he’s spent the last few years of his career playing to a more American or at least international crowd. His turn at the pop house thing works out extremely well — “How Deep is Your Love” grooves with the energy of Duke Dumont’s best. An extremely dismaying fact about this whole ordeal? Harris has also decided to borrow Dumont’s penchant for not crediting vocalists, too. Ina Wroldsen puts in the work, too; her voice lacks the power of Yolanda Quartey or Karen Harding, but it doesn’t feel thin at all, instead choosing quiet pleading when necessary and simply straightforward elsewhere. It’s too bad her co-writers couldn’t give her the credit she deserves.

Scott Mildenhall: Utterly bland, with very little to distinguish it from various prefab house tracks breaching the lower parts of the top 40 recently, like that one by Disciples (which was actually quite good and had a foghorn in it). Not only does it not sound too much like a Calvin Harris track, with that nondescriptness, it doesn’t seem like one either. From the start there’s nearly always been things about his music to set it apart, but this is pure glossy homogeny. It’ll sound fine while being hammered into the ground by radio stations, but it won’t exactly leave a lasting impression; not like an Ina Wroldsen solo single could.

Patrick St. Michel: It’s easy to make fun of Calvin Harris (and a lot of EDM in general) because of how predictable his music can be. Yet as lame as the build-up-to-big-release formula can get, it also has potential to be great, such as “Outside” or “We Found Love.” “How Deep is Your Love” is the sound of safety, a house song that feels more like Harris proving that he can write a house song than anything else. It’s fine — though a lot of what makes it solid comes via the vocals — but that’s all it really strives for. 

Reader average: [5.66] (3 votes)

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