Originally published in The Edge
“All my songs in 2017 have been sonically designed to make you feel fucking incredible,” tweeted Calvin Harris shortly before dropping the least Calvin Harris thing since the transition from chicken-lobbing synth-parading goofball to Vegas-dwelling chiselled Adonis, now decorated in the facial hair department with a veritable forest, commenced after 2009’s Ready For The Weekend. As such, it is only fair that we disregard Harris’ decade of pop heritage when assessing ‘Slide,’ which invites elusive carpenter and emotional maven Frank Ocean to lead the crooning whilst Quavo and Offset of ‘Bad And Boujee’ ad-libbers Migos squeak through augmentation and their oh-so-evident riches for a verse each, and instead consider how fucking incredible it can make one feel.
The rustic adoption of analogue equipment on ‘Slide’ is nothing particularly new in the dance world, yet Harris’ particular approach here is – instead of relying on the tiresome verse/chorus/rampant euphoria formula exhausted by literally every single from 18 Months and Motion, it bookends three successive verses from three different artists with Ocean’s ambiguous hook (“Do you slide on all your nights like this?”) and atrocious cash-flashing yelps that, I must admit, are preferable to the hollow melodies that drive his Ellie Goulding collaborations. Once the minute mark passes and the beat finally settles in, it merely is that – comfortably backing the urban outfits atop, whilst occasionally shimmering away for percussive reverberations and to introduce delicate melodic adornments to the satisfying groove. One of 10 set for the year to come, ‘Slide’ itself can certainly make you feel moderately fucking good, however much its obnoxious lyricism may aim to sap your spirits.
Out now via Columbia