After nearly claiming this year’s Song of the Summer crown with the shamelessly titled “Summer,” Scottish DJ-producer Calvin Harris is trying to keep the momentum going. His fourth album, Motion, out Nov. 4, recycles many of the same party tricks he’s honed working with A-list pop stars like Rihanna–hard-hitting house beats that build and build before bursting into a flurry of hyperactive synthesizers.
Hearing that 15 times in a row, however, can be as exhausting as a wild night out, so Harris stacks the album’s back half with an eclectic list of guest artists. Rapper Big Sean, alt-pop trio Haim and rising R&B star Tinashe shine. Only the Gwen Stefani collaboration “Together” falls short of its star-power potential. But Harris has the best results when he strays from the sounds and styles he’s known for: twisted keyboards go bump in the night on “Slow Acid,” while “Overdrive” sounds like a swarm of bees on ecstasy. If he really wants to keep the party going, he ought to get weird more often.
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