‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2:’ A forgettable sequel


Alex Kendall

Graphic By

Neha Seenarine, Arts & Life Editor

Calvin Harris has been the biggest tease all summer and “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2” is not the summer album he wants it to be. 

When the Scottish DJ announced a sequel to “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” on March 3, I was expecting an album that would compliment the previous heatwaves from early June. Instead, fans received “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2” on Aug. 5, just in time for upcoming Labor Day cookouts. 

Besides the flawed release date, I feel like I’m not the target audience for this album. Each song sounds very similar to each other and “Funk Wav Bounces Vol 2” feels like it’s dedicated to a wealthy person at a tropical resort spa.

This summer, the dance and electronic genre has made a comeback. Drake released “Honestly, Nevermind” in June and Beyoncé followed with “Renaissance” in July. This genre is right in Harris’ wheelhouse, but my expectations were set too high. When “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” was released in 2017, it felt like the perfect summer album. However, the sequel did not follow suit.

The album kicks off with “Intro” and in 39 seconds, it tells me everything I need to know. The light strumming of the electric guitar sets up listeners to expect similar beats throughout the album. In this tracklist, everything feels familiar and although the music may be cohesive, it’s boring. 

“New Money” featuring 21 Savage is next on the album. If I’m being honest, I haven’t heard a 21 Savage song since my high school prom. “New Money” is fine, and the beat is catchy enough for listeners to snap their fingers to. However, Harris could have chosen a different song to introduce the vocals. 21 Savage could be exchanged with someone with more powerful vocals.

The next track, “Potion” features Young Thug and pop sensation Dua Lipa. Harris and Lipa worked together on “One Kiss” in 2018, and it could get anyone dancing. However, their second project together sets a different tone. “Potions” is more relaxed, I could imagine it being played during a late-night beach scene in a romantic comedy. However, it wasn’t the dance song I expected from Lipa.

 Stefflon Don, Chlöe and Coi Leray are featured in “Woman Of The Year.” Although their vocals blend well together, the song is instantly forgettable. There is nothing special about the lyrics or the Harris’ beats. It feels like it was a filler song on the album.

“Obsessed” is the fifth song on the album and is where it starts to get enjoyable. Featured artist Charlie Puth can do no wrong. This song also features Jamaican singer, Shenseea. Their vocals are very different from each other, but the contrast is brilliant. “Obsessed” is a hidden gem and it’s a shame it wasn’t released as a single. 

Normani, Tinashe and Offset are on the next song, “New to You.” This track is the one currently stuck in my head. Normani and Tinashe sing in the chorus, “This might be news to you / This thing might feel new to you / But if you like everything / I think you might love me, baby.” Tinashe also takes this song home with the bridge. The lyrics are so catchy, that I’ve gone back for multiple listens. 

There are 23 featured artists on “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2” and I wasn’t expecting Busta Rhymes to be one of them. “Ready or Not” sets a faster pace compared to all the other songs. His aggressive tone rapping is the flair this album desperately needs. 

“Stay with Me” featuring Halsey, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams is the standout of this album. It feels like it mimics the “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” track, “Feels” also featuring Williams alongside Katy Perry and Big Sean. Besides the point, “Stay with Me” is executed as the heart of the album. The vocals and beats are the clear definitions of dance and what listeners may have expected with Harris releasing “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2.”

However, “Stay with Me” did not need a part two, but we got it anyways. All I’ll say is “Stay with Me Part 2” belongs in the background of a SunnyD commercial. 

“Somebody Else” featuring Jorja Smith and Lil Durk takes the album back and sets a different ambiance of more soulful. Smith’s sultry voice and Lil Durk’s recording studio-generated voice contrast each other very well. 

The next two tracks have something in common. “Nothing More to Say” and “Live My Best Life” are both skips. 

Swae Lee delivers on “Lean on Me.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad Swae Lee feature. The song proves that Harris is capable of producing music that fits anyone’s vocals. The song is repetitive, but sometimes less is more. 

The project concludes with “Day One” featuring Williams and Pusha T. The song is good and at this point, Williams is Harris’ lucky charm for a smash hit.

This album could not out-do the original, but there are major stars in “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2” for listeners to wrap up their summer.