Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on

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Calvin Harris' Unconventional "Feel So Close" Is Cool and Club-Ready

Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on the logic that just because a lot of the music on the radio is crap doesn't mean all the music on the radio is crap.

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The hit: "Feel So Close," Calvin Harris, off Harris' still unnamed third LP, out sometime this year.

Current chart position: #81 on iTunes; #90 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The team: In the US, the Scottish DJ/producer/songwriter Harris is best known for "We Found Love," the monster smash he created for Rihanna that's still sitting way up there on the Billboard charts after 21 weeks. More recently, he contributed a track called "You've Messed Up" to Leona Lewis' upcoming third record, Glassheart. Harris' solo work is better known in his native UK; he's released two records and is currently working on a third, about which little is known--no title or firm release date--other than that it will include his collaboration with Kelis, "Bounce," as well as "Feel So Close." "Feel So Close" shot up the pop charts in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia when it was released last July; it was only released in the US last week.

Breakdown: Several similarities can be drawn between "Feel So Close" and "We Found Love." One of the biggest reasons I liked "We Found Love" was because of how simple it was; "Feel So Close" might be even more minimal, and its unconventional structure sticks out at me. The song opens with a steady piano and claps, and Harris, in his gravelly voice, sings the only six lines of the entire song: "I feel so close to you right now/It's a force field/I wear my heart upon my sleeve/Like a big deal/Your love pours down on me/Surrounds me like a waterfall/And there's no stopping us right now/I feel so close to you right now." A ringing electric guitar ushers in the chorus, of sorts, which is completely instrumental and picks up the tempo into a pulsating dance beat. Harris repeats the verses, the raved up chorus plays again, and then Harris sentimentally repeats the line "There's no stopping us right now" over the guitar, the beat, a few synth sounds and feathery backup vocals until the piano comes back in to close the song.

"Feel So Close" doesn't have a hooky chorus or any epic moments; it's meant more for the dancefloor than for pop radio. It surges into an uplifting and club-ready dance track, but the conventional details make for a nice touch--the real guitar and the piano in particular lend the song an air of elegance. Harris' voice is also left untouched by any effects; it's unique enough on its own. I like the moments in the song when his vocals are layered on top of each other, giving them an alien but also kind of jazzy feel. Harris doesn't appear to be in any hurry to become a huge pop star like the ones he collaborates with, but it's nice to see songs like this getting him some mainstream attention for something other than That Guy on the Rihanna Song.

 
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