The brand of easy listening house that Calvin Harris perfected on “One Kiss” gets a sultry twist on “Promises,” Harris’ latest single, a joint effort with Sam Smith and Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 contributor, Jessie Reyez.
To lyrically borrow from “Promises,” “magic” is indeed “in the air,” and envelops the release. A platform of exposition for Harris and Smith’s strong suits–clean sonic arrangements for the former, and impeccable vocal contributions for the latter–“Promises” relies on a simple yet refined rhythmic arrangement that irresistibly unfolds with each second of the song’s play count.
Smith’s alto vocal adds a cushioned layer of soul to the production from the very moment that Smith’s voice so purely cuts through the track’s pulsating background beat. House influence is evident in “Promises’” moderate tempo, snare-like sound accents, and reliance on a grounding piano melody that steadies the sensuous showing.
If “One Kiss” was the bold, flirty number that drew dancers under the lights and before the DJ of a house club, “Promises” is the tantalizing cousin that issues a cool wink to those dancers gathered on the floor, as if to ask what might come next when the club closes.
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