Calvin Harris, ‘Feels’ | Track Review
Calvin Harris enlists Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean for “Feels,” the fourth single from ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.’
Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris seems to have the knack for rolling out hits. In advance of his new album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, Harris rolled out numerous singles. The first was “Slide,” featuring the talents of Frank Ocean and Migos. Next, he dropped “Heatstroke,” featuring Young Thug, Pharrell Williams, and Ariana Grande. Third, he enlisted Future and upstart Khalid on the groovy “Rollin.” Now, he brings Pharrell back, alongside Katy Perry and Big Sean for “Feels.”
“Feels” begins mysteriously – it sounds unsettled and nebulous. The nebulousness is short-lived; 13 seconds in, an infectious groove kicks in. The vibe established has summer written all over it. These feels are care-free by all means. Pharrell Williams handles the vocal duties from the jump. He sounds true to himself, while the lyrics are so-so. Williams depicts the beginning of a relationship – the initiation:
“Do you mind if I steal a kiss? / A little souvenir, can I steal it from you? / To memorize the way you shock me / The way you move it here / Just wanna feel it from you.”
It’s innocent enough, but not particularly rousing. Neither is the hook, courtesy of Katy Perry. Perry essentially encourages Williams to “go for it”:
“Don’t be afraid to catch feels / Ride drop top and chase thrills / I know you ain’t afraid to pop pills / Baby, I know you ain’t scared to catch feels / Feels with me.”
Following another intriguing verse by Pharrell, Big Sean drops the obligatory rap verse. Ultimately, it’s predictable. She’s awesome and, he also asserts he’s the best and there are no other comparisons.
“Fly in first-class through the air, Airbnb / I’m the best you had, you just be comparing me to me.”
The moral of the story – “Don’t be afraid to catch feels.” Yep, this song TOTALLY illustrates that perfectly.
Ultimately, “Feels” is the type of record that is pleasing more because of the sound than the lyricism. The groove is #winning without a doubt. The lyrics and concept – not so much. As a song, “Feels” is undercooked, leaving more to be desired. Still, Calvin Harris and company sort of had the right idea…sort of.