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Working The ‘Weekend’: Calvin Harris Picks Up The Beat

Remember Loverboy? Remember “Working for the Weekend”? UK dance-pop savant Calvin Harris isn’t about to mess with that golden pop formula and instead doubles his pleasure with a similar sentiment, the title of his second album, Ready for the Weekend (Ultra).

The solid nugget of moveable jams debuted at the top of the UK charts and finds the songsmith is consolidating the splash he’s already made with two consecutive no. 1 singles included on the disc, “Dance Wiv Me” (with Dizzee Rascal) and “I’m Not Alone.” The latter, a surprisingly downbeat electro number, was honored in a highly apropos po-mo way: Madonna appropriated it during her recent Sticky and Sweet tour. That’s the least Harris can hope for -- especially since he’s been dubbed the Scottish Justin Timberlake and everyone knows Madge has an overweaning fondness for working with JT. 

Passion Pit, the Ting Tings, and Kylie Minogue have all tangled with Harris creatively, but Ready for the Weekend proves that Harris is more than a hired hand or featured player. The title track is a lush, energetic workout showcasing the vocal prowress of Chaka Khan backup singer Mary Pearce. “Stars Come Out” bounces with the freedom-loving effervescence and Vocoder fun of French disco-pop, whereas “Worst Day” simmers in Doves-y acoustic guitars. A curious mix of indie belly-baring and electro manic creativity, Ready for the Weekend goes down easily, even silkily, only to reveal its uniquely personal angles with numerous listens. Let’s hope Harris sails through town again soon, just as he did last year when he appeared at Popscene around the release of his gold debut, I Created Disco. Meanwhile check out the video for the title tune: what do you think of it?