Calvin Harris

Ready for the Weekend

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Calvin Harris' second album ups the ante on the glossy dance-pop of his debut, I Created Disco, boasting more energy, more hooks, more professionalism, and, in places, a little more sincerity. It's clear that Harris has an unaffected fondness for all of the most immediate, most commercial dance music of the past 30 years -- from disco to synth pop to video game soundtracks to New York house. What's more, he has the talent to produce it all at the highest level possible, right up there with Daft Punk, creators of the best throwback dance music of the '90s and 2000s. Still, Harris isn't quite as self-aware as Daft Punk, and he certainly doesn't pull as many punches. Ready for the Weekend, even compared to his debut, is focused like a laser directly at listeners' pleasure centers, dismissing anything that might distract or detour from the type of pumping dance-pop capable of filling the main room at any club. And where Daft Punk or Scissor Sisters play up the stereotypes of dance music in an affectionate way, Harris is still, ultimately, making fun of dance music's emptiness (just listen to the chorus of the hit title track: "Ooh, I put on my shoes and I'm ready for the weekend"). This isn't stadium house as Paul Oakenfold envisioned it, but it's an enjoyable amalgam of dance energy and pop focus.

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