Skiddle Record Club: Week 1 - Calvin Harris - 18 Months

Each week, a different member of the Skiddle team picks a record for the rest of the team to listen to and evaluate, ranking the album out of 10. Where will this weeks record land on the leaderboard?

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 28th Oct 2021

Welcome to the first meeting of the Skiddle Record Club - a place for the people behind the scenes at Skiddle to share the music they love, firstly with their colleagues and then with you, the reader.

Each week, a member of the team will be selecting a record that means something to them; could be their all-time favourite, the record they sing the loudest to in the car or one that pretty much defines everything about their music tastes. The rest of the team then have a week to listen to the selected record and anonymously share their thoughts, including a rating out of five. 

We’ll break down the feedback from the team, highlighting some of the positive responses, as well as the negative ones, and update the leaderboard to determine once and for all who at Skiddle has the greatest taste in music (lol, nah, just for fun m8).



Week 1 - Jade, Customer Support

Album: Calvin Harris - 18 Months

Rate Your Music Score: 2.81/5


Originally hailing from Scotland, Adam Richard Wiles, better known as Calvin Harris is officially the wealthiest DJ in the world, largely due to the success of this, his third full-length album, ‘18 Months’, released in 2012. The record saw Harris shift from his roots in Nu-disco to EDM. The record holds platinum certification in 8 countries, topped the album charts in the UK and spawned 9 top 10 singles, being the first album in history to do so.

Critically, it is certainly no darling, with a rating of 5.62 out of 10 on popular music rating site, Rate Your Music, along with a smattering of middling scores from outlets such as The Guardian (2 stars), The Independent (3 stars) and NME (6/10). However, this album is living proof that a record doesn’t need to be a critical smash in order to be a commercial one. Tracks from this album soundtrack just about every gym in the nation and are often used when Simon Cowell finally says “four yes’s” after he keeps a contestant waiting to see if they’re through to the next round of some crappy reality TV show. They also get heavy rotation at kids parties, served up with weak orange cordial and ham sandwiches.

“I listen to individual random songs”, says Jade, who is clearly not a fan of listening to albums in general, and tends to favour playlists more. “My playlist can go from drum and bass to a bit of pop and end on ABBA. It’s the album which, on my phone, I have the most songs downloaded from”, so I guess it seemed like the clear choice for Jade!


So, what does the rest of the Skiddle team think?

Skiddle Record Club Score: 2.6/5 (Highest: 4, Lowest: 1)

When asked if participants would listen again, 12% said yes, while an overwhelming 88% said no. But why is this the case?


The Bad

A couple of participants claimed it just wasn't their thing! "This type of music is by far and away one of my most disliked, so it was hard for me to find any likeable qualities", said one listener. Another echoed these thoughts; "Big-room EDM really ain't my thang." One listener said that given Calvin's heritage (followed by a link to Rolf Harris's Wiki page - questionable), this was a disappointing effort, stating that they had "Heard it all before, unfortunately - felt like I was back in Lava & Ignite circa 2012/13. Proper PTSD jobby." There was certainly themes among the negative responses, people stating the album was highly repetitive, with the music sounding very similar throughout - "It didn't feel like there were many creative risks, most of it was really predictable, after the first 30 seconds you pretty much know what's going to happen."

I wanted to present this review in full, as I think it quite well sums up the negative responses:

"There are some MIDI instruments on there that are very unwelcome. If you want the slap bass sounds on your record then get somebody to play slap bass and not a synthesised version of somebody playing slap bass, we know you have the budget for it Mr Harris. I also understand it's an electronic record but it just doesn't sound very good. Some of the melodies are also very simple, again maybe this could be the nature of the genre but it's not interesting. There are a few tracks that seem to cut short just as you think they may further develop, which leads you to feel they're a bit 'filler'."


The Good

It certainly wasn't all bad! All listeners had the opportunity to state what they liked about it and very quickly, a theme emerged - this is music to enjoy while out partying, drinking and having a good time. "It was a very nostalgic listen, takes me back to the charts at the time and also going out to clubs and hearing the hits," said one listener with fond memories of these songs soundtracking clubs back in 2012. It even transported one listener; "Reminds me of Ibiza. Just a classic party album."

"It reminded me of being a student (eg. being too drunk in carpeted nightclubs)"

"A good mix of featured artists on the tracks and catchy hooks"

"Nostalgia. Felt like I was back in MACS when I first started clubbing or house party. Impressed at the amount of no1's. Certainly cracked the dance/pop algorithm"

"Most of the songs on the album are catchy songs to sing along to when you're out drunk with your mates"

"Dizzee Rascal's bars on 'Here 2 China'"

So clearly, Jade isn't on her own. Calvin does have some fans in the office - if only for the nostalgic hold these tunes have over them.



Wow, what a surprise entry! 18 Months takes the top spot! But how long will it remain up there?

Next week's record choice comes courtesy of Mike Warburton, Account Support Team Leader. Will it knock Calvin from the top spot?



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